The Abandonment of the West: The History of an Idea in American Foreign Policy

Basic Bks. Apr. 2020. 384p. ISBN 9780465055906. $30. POL SCI
The West as an idea is an intriguing concept, and one that has generated much literature over the years. Kimmage’s (history, Catholic Univ. of America; The ConservativeTurn) latest book stands apart because of its historical and philosophical treatment of what Western culture means to contemporary Americans. Going back to the late 19th century, Kimmage traces the various theories of international relations, beginning with Woodrow Wilson’s internationalism, and examines the evolution of America’s engagement with the rest of the world during the course of the 20th century. Kimmage points out that, in our present century, the traditional view of Western dominance is now being challenged by the rise of China and Russia, and that we should reconsider the mindset that Western culture is superior to others.
VERDICT This is an exceedingly important book and certainly one that would benefit all American readers who wonder how we arrived at our current status in an increasingly interconnected world. Highly recommended for all collections.

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