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Of Paradise and Power

America and Europe in the New World Order


Robert Kagan (View Bio)
Hardcover: Alfred A. Knopf, 2003; Trade Paperback: Vintage, 2004.

Of Paradise and Power
New York Times Best Seller
Washington Post #1 Best Seller

"Well worth reading. This is especially so since his prose is lucid and elegant, and his arguments are thoughtfully marshaled.... The true measure of Kagan's book is that it is hard to imagine any future serious discussion of trans-Atlantic relations or America's role in the world without reference to it." — The New York Times Book Review

"Timely.... Using elegant, efficient prose...[Kagan] lays out the rasons for the growing gap." — Edmonton Sun

"Though in the past we have often disagreed, I consider this one of those seminal treatises without which any discussion of European-American relations would be incomplete and which will shape that discussion for years to come." — Dr. Henry Kissinger

"This slim work by Kagan ought to be required reading.... [A] brilliant and controversial work.'" — Library Journal

"This is a book that will be easy to dismiss, and those who dismiss it will be very wrong to do so.... The thesis of Power and Weakness was [upon publication of the article] discussed, debated, and charicatured.... But the original article was always better than its charicature, and now the book version is better, more subtle, and more interesting than both. In the book, Kagan has the space and leisure to expand upon what is in fact a rather profound observation: namely, that the experiences of Europeans and of Americans over the past half-century have been remarkably different.... This book could not be a better guide to the transatlantic struggles of the past few weeks." — Sunday Telegraph (London)

"The democratic West has divided into two: realist America, putting its trust in physical power, and idealist Europe, trusting to intellectual authority and multilateralism. It is true that, as Mr. Kagan makes clear, American foreign policy retains a strong idealist element, but it is its muscular willingness to act with force, alone if it must, that Mr. Kagan defends here, and convincingly." — The Wall Street Journal

"Slender but brilliant." — BusinessWeek

"Robert Kagan has, by coincidence or prescience, but the current crisis into a broad, analytical, and thought-provoking context.... Kagan's book is neither a diatribe nor a polemic. It is a penetrating effort to shed some light on the confusion in transatlantic affairs and to understand why Americans and Europeans are so frequently talking past each other.... As an effort to crystallise an important moment in history and to provoke a fuller comprehension of contemporary international relations, PARADISE AND POWER ranks with Frank Fukuyama's THE END OF HISTORY and Sam Huntington's THE CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS. If Robert Kagan can stimulate a higher quality of transatlantic dialogue, we'll all profit from it." — The Times (London)

"Prophetic.... Kagan's thesis is compelling.... It is a debate with great consequences for Australia." — The Weekend Australian

"PARADISE AND POWER is a book worthy of every thinking person on both sides of the Atlantic. It is hard to imagine so complex a subject being explained so clearly and so compellingly in such a small compass. What makes this brief book — an extended essay, in fact — so important is that the author judiciously endeavours to see the problem from both sides. In an age characterised more by ideological axe-grinding than by intellectual fairness, that is no small achievement. Kagan is to be congratulated for a contribution unlikely to be equalled." — Times Higher Education Supplement

"Kagan ranks among analysts whose work must be read. And the appearance of this book could not be more timely, as 'old Europe' and the United States diverge." — Los Angeles Times

"Kagan describes [the current climate] with dispassionate and deadly accuracy." — The Washington Times

"It is a rare achievement." — Sunday Telegraph (London)

"In moments of historical crisis, a thinker will sometimes come forward with an idea so provocative that it ripples beyond the small pool of intellectuals and makes waves in the [larger] world.... It is too soon to know how enduring the latest big idea will prove. But with the timely publication of his slender book, OF PARADISE AND POWER, Robert Kagan seems to have anticipated the growing rift between the U.S. and Western Europe.... Echoes of his thesis can be heard in President Bush's dismissal of European opposition to his Iraq strategy." — The New York Times

"His essay [has] the foreign policy establishment humming from Washington to Tokyo.... It is being called the new 'X' article." — Washington Post

"For its brilliant juxtaposition of strategy and philosophy, of the realities of power and the ethics of power, of the American ideal of justice and the European ideal of peace, Robert Kagan's small book is a big book. Nothing like this has been written since the death of Raymond Aron." — Leon Weiseltier

"Cogent.... Kagan is admirably evenhanded... Valuable and instructive." — Philadelphia Inquirer

"Cogent and important best describe this slim book, its lack of vast pages belying the weightiness of its message. This is an expanded version of an essay originally published as 'Power and Weakness'.... The article created such a stir that a book-length expansion proved necessary for a wider readership. Tight, rigorous reasoning stands behind Kagan's cold analysis of the growing disparity between U.S. and European views of the post-cold war world and how best to achieve peace and order.... Controversial arguments, certainly, but this book deserves to be read by all conscientious citizens." — Booklist (starred review)

"Brilliant." — Francis Fukuyama

"Anyone looking for an intellectual primer to explain the geopolitical forces at work in the Iraqi conflict should order a copy of Robert Kagan's...PARADISE AND POWER.... The crisis in the gulf has shown that Mr. Kagan is right." — Sunday Telegraph (London)

"Americans are from Mars and Europeans are from Venus.' The analogy is clever, perceptive, and closer to the mark than the author, whose stock in trade is foreign affairs and not the messier and more complicated affairs between men and women, may realize." — The Washington Times

"Americans are from Mars and Europeans are from Venus,' writes Robert Kagan in the first paragraph of his new book.... That's probably the best one-liner any foreign policy intellectual has offered to explain perennial transatlantic disputes over the exercise of power in international relations.... Well-argued.... Truly insightful." — New York Observer

"A grimly realistic appraisal of why the two poles of western civilisation seem to be drifting inexorably apart — why Europe sees America as an arrogant warmonger while for the US the French lead a continent of craven appeasers." — Agence France Presse

"A compact and arresting book.... Highly readable. It is also a hard-hitting, unsentimental and yet liberal and humane manifesto." — Sunday Times (London)

"A cogent new book.... Kagan is admirably even-handed.... [His] analysis is valuable and instructive." — Detroit Free Press

"[Kagan] presents the facts in a remarkably clear and concise manner...[and] presents arguments difficult to dispute." — U.P.I.

"[Kagan writes with] skill, erudition, and [a] reasoned argument." — National Review

"[A] tour de force." — Foreign Affairs

"[A] subtle and empathetic analysis.... An insightful new book." — Seattle Times

"[A] seminal new book." — Raleigh News–Observer

"Captures the mood of today's crisis between the United States and many of its old European allies.... As an American living in Brussels the past three years, Mr. Kagan is in an ideal position to dissect what is wrong in the United States-European relationship and why. He does so with a surgeon's skill, stripping away layer after layer to reveal what in the end is a remarkable conclusion: The West, which for so many years defined the two sides of the Atlantic, has ceased to be the organizing principle in foreign policy in Europe and the United States.... Kagan marshals his arguments with care and precision. Contrary to the claims of pundits and politicians, the current crisis in United States-European relations is not caused by President Bush's unilateralism, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröeder's pacifism, or French President Jacques Chirac's anti-Americanism.... Rather, the crisis is deep, structural and enduring." — The New York Times

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