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The Real World Order, by Max Singer and Aaron Wildavsky

- Abstract

Three years into the post-cold-war era we are still searching for our George F. Kennan—someone to delineate the main outlines of the international environment and prescribe a new strategy, as Kennan did with “containment” at the outset of the cold war. Perhaps because of the complexity of the new international scene, or perhaps because of the relatively well-developed nature of our foreign-policy dialogue—in Kennan’s time there was little in the way of an established intellectual tradition of American thinking about foreign policy—no single such figure seems likely to emerge. What we have instead is a multiplicity of books and articles, each contributing pieces of the puzzle, none so far seeming definitive.

Max Singer, co-founder with the late Herman Kahn of the Hudson Institute, and Aaron Wildavsky, a professor at Berkeley and one of the nation’s most eminent political scientists, have teamed up to offer an original, if somewhat quirky, contribution to this ongoing discussion. An avowed attack on the “old thinking” of professional foreign-policy analysts, The Real World Order attempts to define a comprehensive “new thinking” on which to base U.S. foreign policy. While the book falls short of achieving this grand ambition, it does offer some useful correctives and challenges as we think our way toward a new strategy for the post-cold-war world.

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