Book Review

Your required paper is a book review of Brzezinski’s book on America’s inability to grasp the opportunities presented after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Book info:

Zbigniew Brzezinski.(2008) Second Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower, Basic Books; Second edition.

The first part of the book review should be a discussion about the author’s major argument(s).  You may paraphrase and use quotations to provide supporting points for the arguments. If you use quotations, be sure that your quotations are supporting a general point.

In the next section of the paper, you should assess Brzezinski’s argument about American Presidents’ overall failure to pursue policy issues after the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Is his evidence convincing, controversial, factual or one-sided?  Is Brzezinski guilty of assuming perfect foresight on the part of presidents?  What structural factors prohibited these three presidents from pursuing these goals, and solving the conflicts, which Brzezinski thought they should pursue?  A related question is can he blame these presidents for the problems encountered?

In the last section of this paper, I want you to choose one of the three presidents and examine in greater detail a conflict or war he dealt with in the light of Brzezinski’s critique.  In this case, is the president you’ve chosen guilty as Brzezinski charges?   Explain whether you agree or disagree and why in the context of his theses.  DO NOT STRADDLE THE FENCE.  Take a clear position one way or the other.  Relate your arguments to key historical developments that Brzezinski enumerates in Second Chance.

You do not need any outside sources besides this book, but don’t feel constrained from using outside sources if you wish.  However, if you do rely on someone else’s ideas that have been published, you are required to cite them in your paper.  Do not forget to do so.

The paper should be no shorter than 3 pages and longer than 5 pages(excluding the bibliography page).  You must also use standard one-inch margins on each double-spaced page, and your font will be 12.

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