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The Irony of Vietnam

The Irony of Vietnam Author Leslie H. Gelb
ISBN-10 9780815726791
Release 2016-05-31
Pages 486
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"If a historian were allowed but one book on the American involvement in Vietnam, this would be it." — Foreign Affairs When first published in 1979, four years after the end of one of the most divisive conflicts in the United States, The Irony of Vietnam raised eyebrows. Most students of the war argued that the United States had "stumbled into a quagmire in Vietnam through hubris and miscalculation," as the New York Times's Fox Butterfield put it. But the perspective of time and the opening of documentary sources, including the Pentagon Papers, had allowed Gelb and Betts to probe deep into the decisionmaking leading to escalation of military action in Vietnam. The failure of Vietnam could be laid at the door of American foreign policy, they said, but the decisions that led to the failure were made by presidents aware of the risks, clear about their aims, knowledgeable about the weaknesses of their allies, and under no illusion about the outcome. The book offers a picture of a steely resolve in government circles that, while useful in creating consensus, did not allow for alternative perspectives. In the years since its publication, The Irony of Vietnam has come to be considered the seminal work on the Vietnam War.



Anatomy of Mistrust

Anatomy of Mistrust Author Deborah Welch Larson
ISBN-10 0801486823
Release 2000
Pages 329
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Synthesizing different understandings of trust and mistrust from the theoretical traditions of economics, psychology, and game theory, Larson analyzes five cases that might have been turning points in U.S.-Soviet relations.



Systematic Thinking for Social Action

Systematic Thinking for Social Action Author Alice M. Rivlin
ISBN-10 9780815726456
Release 2015-03-24
Pages 142
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In January 1970 Alice M. Rivlin spoke to an audience at the University of California-Berkeley. The topic was developing a more rational approach to decisionmaking in government. If digital video, YouTube, and TED Talks had been inventions of the 1960s, Rivlin's talk would have been a viral hit. As it was, the resulting book, Systematic Thinking for Social Action, spent years on the Brookings Press bestseller list. Is is a very personal and conversational volume about the dawn of new ways of thinking about government. As deputy assistant secretary for program coordination, and later as assistant secretary for planning and evaluation, at the Department of Health, Education and Welfare from 1966 to 1969, Rivlin was an early advocate of systems analysis, which had been introduced by Robert McNamara at the Department of Defense as PPBS (planning-programming-budgeting-system). While Rivlin brushes aside the jargon, she digs into the substance of systematic analysis and a 'quiet revolution in government. In an evaluation of the evaluators, she issues mixed grades, pointing out where analysts had been helpful in finding solutions and where—because of inadequate data or methods—they had been no help at all. Systematic Thinking for Social Action offers important insights for anyone interested in working to find the smartest ways to allocate scarce funds to promote the maximum well-being of all citizens.



The Power of the Past

The Power of the Past Author Hal Brands
ISBN-10 9780815727132
Release 2015-11-10
Pages 334
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Leading scholars and policymakers explore how history influences foreign policy and offer insights on how the study of the past can more usefully serve the present. History, with its insights, analogies, and narratives, is central to the ways that the United States interacts with the world. Historians and policymakers, however, rarely engage one another as effectively or fruitfully as they might. This book bridges that divide, bringing together leading scholars and policymakers to address the essential questions surrounding the history-policy relationship including Mark Lawrence on the numerous, and often contradictory, historical lessons that American observers have drawn from the Vietnam War; H. W. Brands on the role of analogies in U.S. policy during the Persian Gulf crisis and war of 1990–91; and Jeremi Suri on Henry Kissinger's powerful use of history.



Development Projects Observed

Development Projects Observed Author Albert O. Hirschman
ISBN-10 9780815726432
Release 2014-12-10
Pages 200
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Originally published in 1967, the modest and plainly descriptive title of Development Projects Observed is deceptive. Today, it is recognized as the ultimate volume of Hirschman's groundbreaking trilogy on development, and as the bridge to the broader social science themes of his subsequent writings. Though among his lesser-known works, this unassuming tome is one of his most influential. It is in this book that Hirschman first shared his now famous "Principle of the Hiding Hand." In an April 2013 New Yorker issue, Malcolm Gladwell wrote an appreciation of the principle, described by Cass Sunstein in the book's new foreword as "a bit of a trick up history's sleeve." It can be summed up as a phenomenon in which people's inability to foresee obstacles leads to actions that succeed because people have far more problem-solving ability that they anticipate or appreciate. And it is in Development Projects Observed that Hirschman laid the foundation for the core of his most important work, Exit, Voice, and Loyalty, and later led to the concept of an "exit strategy."



The World America Made

The World America Made Author Robert Kagan
ISBN-10 9780345802712
Release 2013-01-22
Pages 149
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What would the world look like if America were to reduce its role as a global leader in order to focus all its energies on solving its problems at home? And is America really in decline? Robert Kagan, New York Times best-selling author and one of the country's most influential strategic thinkers, paints a vivid, alarming picture of what the world might look like if the United States were truly to let its influence wane. Although Kagan asserts that much of the current pessimism is misplaced, he warns that if America were indeed to commit preemptive superpower suicide, the world would see the return of war among rising nations as they jostle for power; the retreat of democracy around the world as Vladimir Putin's Russia and authoritarian China acquire more clout; and the weakening of the global free-market economy, which the United States created and has supported for more than sixty years. We've seen this before - in the breakdown of the Roman Empire and the collapse of the European order in World War I. Potent, incisive, and engaging, The World America Made is a reminder that the American world order is worth preserving, and America dare not decline.



War of Necessity War of Choice

War of Necessity  War of Choice Author Richard N. Haass
ISBN-10 143916570X
Release 2009-05-05
Pages 352
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When should the United States go to war? It is arguably the most important foreign policy question facing any president, and Richard Haass -- a member of the National Security Council staff for the first President Bush and the director of policy planning in the State Department for Bush II -- is in a unique position to address it. Haass is one of just a handful of individuals -- along with Colin Powell, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, and Bob Gates -- involved at a senior level of U.S. government decision making during both Iraq conflicts. He is the first to take us behind closed doors and the first to provide a personal account. The result is a book that is authoritative, revealing, and surprising. Haass explains not only what happened but why. At first blush, the two Iraq wars appear similar. Both involved a President George Bush and the United States in conflicts with Saddam Hussein and Iraq. There, however, the resemblance ends. Haass contrasts the decisions that shaped the conduct of the two wars and makes a crucial distinction between the 1991 and 2003 conflicts. The first Iraq war, following Saddam Hussein's invasion of neighboring Kuwait, was a war of necessity. It was limited in ambition, well executed, and carried out with unprecedented international support. By contrast, the second Iraq war was one of choice, the most significant discretionary war undertaken by the United States since Vietnam. Haass argues that it was unwarranted, as the United States had other viable policy options. Making matters worse was the fact that this ambitious undertaking was poorly implemented and fought with considerably more international opposition than backing. These are the principal conclusions of this compelling, honest, and challenging book by one of this country's most respected voices on foreign policy. Haass's assessments are critical yet fair -- and carry tremendous weight. He offers a thoughtful examination of the means and ends of U.S. foreign policy: how it should be made, what it should seek to accomplish, and how it should be pursued. War of Necessity, War of Choice -- part history, part memoir -- provides invaluable insight into some of the most important recent events in the world. It also provides a much-needed compass for how the United States can apply the lessons learned from the two Iraq wars so that it is better positioned to put into practice what worked and to avoid repeating what so clearly did not.



Choosing War

Choosing War Author Fredrik Logevall
ISBN-10 9780520229198
Release 2001-02-09
Pages 529
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"Masterful. . . . Logevall presents a vivid and tragic portrait of the elements of U.S. decision-making on Vietnam from the beginning of the Kennedy administration through the announcement of the American ground war in July 1965. In the process he reveals a troubling picture of top officials in both the Kennedy and Johnson administrations persisting in efforts to boost the fortunes of sucessive governments of South Vietnam, even while they acknowledged that their chances for success were remote. In addition, he places the decision-making squarely in the international context."—Robert D. Schulzinger, author of A Time for War: The United States and Vietnam, 1941-1975 "Stunning in its research and highly sophisticated in its analysis, Choosing War is far and away the best study we have of Lyndon Johnson's escalation of the conflict in Vietnam."—George C. Herring "In this fine book, Fredrick Logevall offers the first detailed examination of why diplomacy failed to head off the Vietnam War. Grounding himself in documentary research and other sources from several countries, Logevall comes closer than anyone ever has to explaining what happened. His clear writing and deep analysis may well change our understanding of Vietnam as a quagmire."—John Prados, author of The Hidden History of the Vietnam War "A rising star among a new generation of historians, Fredrik Logevall has written the most important Vietnam book in years. By explaining the international context of that tragic conflict, Choosing War provides startling answers to the question, Why did the war happen? Controversial yet fair, this account challenges the reader to think through John F. Kennedy's and Lydon B. Johnson's individual responsibility for Vietnam. The effect is compelling, unforgettable history."—Timothy Naftali, co-author of "One Hell of a Gamble:" Khrushchev, Castro, and Kennedy, 1958-1964



Identification Revolution

Identification Revolution Author Alan Gelb
ISBN-10 9781944691042
Release 2018-01-16
Pages 272
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Some 600 million children worldwide do not legally exist. Without verifiable identification, they—and unregistered adults—could face serious difficulties in proving their identity, whether to open a bank account, purchase a SIM card, or cast a vote. Lack of identification is a barrier to full economic and social inclusion. Recent advances in the reach and technological sophistication of identification systems have been nothing less than revolutionary. Since 2000, over 60 developing countries have established national ID programs. Digital technology, particularly biometrics such as fingerprints and iris scans, has dramatically expanded the capabilities of these programs. Individuals can now be uniquely identified and reliably authenticated against their claimed identities. By enabling governments to work more effectively and transparently, identification is becoming a tool for accelerating development progress. Not only is provision of legal identity for all a target under the Sustainable Development Goals, but this book shows how it is also central to achieving numerous other SDG targets. Yet, challenges remain. Identification systems can fail to include the poor, leaving them still unable to exercise their rights, access essential services, or fully participate in political and economic life. The possible erosion of privacy and the misuse of personal data, especially in countries that lack data privacy laws or the capacity to enforce them, is another challenge. Yet another is ensuring that investments in identification systems deliver a development payoff. There are all too many examples where large expenditures—sometimes supported by donor governments or agencies—appear to have had little impact. Identification Revolution: Can Digital ID be Harnessed for Development? offers a balanced perspective on this new area, covering both the benefits and the risks of the identification revolution, as well as pinpointing opportunities to mitigate those risks.



Enemies of Intelligence

Enemies of Intelligence Author Richard K. Betts
ISBN-10 9780231138888
Release 2007
Pages 241
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Citing the events of 9/11 and the false assessment of Saddams weapons arsenal, one of the nations foremost political scientists illuminates the paradoxes and problems that frustrate the intelligence process, and outlines strategies for better intelligence gathering and assessment.



Mr Putin

Mr  Putin Author Fiona Hill
ISBN-10 9780815726180
Release 2015-02-02
Pages 533
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From the KGB to the Kremlin: a multidimensional portrait of the man at war with the West. Where do Vladimir Putin's ideas come from? How does he look at the outside world? What does he want, and how far is he willing to go? The great lesson of the outbreak of World War I in 1914 was the danger of misreading the statements, actions, and intentions of the adversary. Today, Vladimir Putin has become the greatest challenge to European security and the global world order in decades. Russia's 8,000 nuclear weapons underscore the huge risks of not understanding who Putin is. Featuring five new chapters, this new edition dispels potentially dangerous misconceptions about Putin and offers a clear-eyed look at his objectives. It presents Putin as a reflection of deeply ingrained Russian ways of thinking as well as his unique personal background and experience. Praise for the first edition If you want to begin to understand Russia today, read this book. —Sir John Scarlett, former chief of the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) For anyone wishing to understand Russia's evolution since the breakup of the Soviet Union and its trajectory since then, the book you hold in your hand is an essential guide.—John McLaughlin, former deputy director of U.S. Central Intelligence Of the many biographies of Vladimir Putin that have appeared in recent years, this one is the most useful. —Foreign Affairs This is not just another Putin biography. It is a psychological portrait. —The Financial Times Q: Do you have time to read books? If so, which ones would you recommend? "My goodness, let's see. There's Mr. Putin, by Fiona Hill and Clifford Gaddy. Insightful." —Vice President Joseph Biden in Joe Biden: The Rolling Stone Interview.



War Comes to Long An

War Comes to Long An Author Jeffrey Race
ISBN-10 9780520260177
Release 2010-02-16
Pages 329
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This landmark study of the Vietnamese conflict, examined through the lens of the revolutionary and counter-revolutionary movements in the rural province of Long An up until American intervention in the area, offers a human, balanced, penetrating account of war. Two new forewords by Robert K. Brigham of Vassar College and Jeffrey Record of the Air War College explore the book's enduring influence. A new end chapter offers previously unpublished scholarship on the conflict.



Red Tape

Red Tape Author Herbert Kaufman
ISBN-10 9780815726616
Release 2015-06-08
Pages 100
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Death, taxes, and red tape. The inevitable trio no one can escape. That wry sense of reality colors Herbert Kaufman's classic study of red tape, the bureaucratic phenomenon that all of us have encountered in some form—from the confounding tax form filled out annually to the maddeningly time-consuming wait at the driver's license bureau. The complaints about red tape, Kaufman concedes, are legion. It's messy, it takes too long, it lacks local knowledge, it is out of date, it makes insane demands, it increases costs, it slows progress. It is, in short, a burden and many times there is no measurable positive outcome. Kaufman takes us on an unblinking tour of the dismal landscape of red tape. But he also shows us another side of red tape, one we often forget. Red tape is how government protects us from tainted food, shoddy products, and unfair labor practices. It guarantees a social safety net for the elderly, the disabled, children, veterans, and victims of natural disasters. One person's red tape is another person's protection. This reissue is a Brookings Classic, a series of republished books for readers to revisit or discover, notable works by the Brookings Institution Press.



Development Projects Observed

Development Projects Observed Author Albert O. Hirschman
ISBN-10 9780815726432
Release 2014-12-10
Pages 200
Download Link Click Here

Originally published in 1967, the modest and plainly descriptive title of Development Projects Observed is deceptive. Today, it is recognized as the ultimate volume of Hirschman's groundbreaking trilogy on development, and as the bridge to the broader social science themes of his subsequent writings. Though among his lesser-known works, this unassuming tome is one of his most influential. It is in this book that Hirschman first shared his now famous "Principle of the Hiding Hand." In an April 2013 New Yorker issue, Malcolm Gladwell wrote an appreciation of the principle, described by Cass Sunstein in the book's new foreword as "a bit of a trick up history's sleeve." It can be summed up as a phenomenon in which people's inability to foresee obstacles leads to actions that succeed because people have far more problem-solving ability that they anticipate or appreciate. And it is in Development Projects Observed that Hirschman laid the foundation for the core of his most important work, Exit, Voice, and Loyalty, and later led to the concept of an "exit strategy."



Systematic Thinking for Social Action

Systematic Thinking for Social Action Author Alice M. Rivlin
ISBN-10 9780815726456
Release 2015-03-24
Pages 142
Download Link Click Here

In January 1970 Alice M. Rivlin spoke to an audience at the University of California-Berkeley. The topic was developing a more rational approach to decisionmaking in government. If digital video, YouTube, and TED Talks had been inventions of the 1960s, Rivlin's talk would have been a viral hit. As it was, the resulting book, Systematic Thinking for Social Action, spent years on the Brookings Press bestseller list. Is is a very personal and conversational volume about the dawn of new ways of thinking about government. As deputy assistant secretary for program coordination, and later as assistant secretary for planning and evaluation, at the Department of Health, Education and Welfare from 1966 to 1969, Rivlin was an early advocate of systems analysis, which had been introduced by Robert McNamara at the Department of Defense as PPBS (planning-programming-budgeting-system). While Rivlin brushes aside the jargon, she digs into the substance of systematic analysis and a 'quiet revolution in government. In an evaluation of the evaluators, she issues mixed grades, pointing out where analysts had been helpful in finding solutions and where—because of inadequate data or methods—they had been no help at all. Systematic Thinking for Social Action offers important insights for anyone interested in working to find the smartest ways to allocate scarce funds to promote the maximum well-being of all citizens.



Equality and Efficiency

Equality and Efficiency Author Arthur M. Okun
ISBN-10 9780815726548
Release 2015-04-30
Pages 156
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Originally published in 1975, Equality and Efficiency: The Big Tradeoff is a very personal work from one of the most important macroeconomists of the last hundred years. And this new edition includes "Further Thoughts on Equality and Efficiency," a paper published by the author two years later. In classrooms Arthur M. Okun may be best remembered for Okun's Law, but his lasting legacy is the respect and admiration he earned from economists, practitioners, and policymakers. Equality and Efficiency is the perfect embodiment of that legacy, valued both by professional economists and those readers with a keen interest in social policy. To his fellow economists, Okun presents messages, in the form of additional comments and select citations, in his footnotes. To all readers, Okun presents an engaging dual theme: the market needs a place, and the market needs to be kept in its place. As Okun puts it: Institutions in a capitalist democracy prod us to get ahead of our neighbors economically after telling us to stay in line socially. This double standard professes and pursues an egalitarian political and social system while simultaneously generating gaping disparities in economic well-being. Today, Okun's dual theme feels incredibly prescient as we grapple with the hot-button topic of income inequality. In his foreword, Lawrence H. Summers declares: On what one might think of as questions of "economic philosophy," I doubt that Okun has been improved on in the subsequent interval. His discussion of how societies rely on rights as well as markets should be required reading for all young economists who are enamored with market solutions to all problems. With a new foreword by Lawrence H. Summers



Fashion and Its Social Agendas

Fashion and Its Social Agendas Author Diana Crane
ISBN-10 9780226924830
Release 2012-06-12
Pages 304
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It has long been said that clothes make the man (or woman), but is it still true today? If so, how has the information clothes convey changed over the years? Using a wide range of historical and contemporary materials, Diana Crane demonstrates how the social significance of clothing has been transformed. Crane compares nineteenth-century societies—France and the United States—where social class was the most salient aspect of social identity signified in clothing with late twentieth-century America, where lifestyle, gender, sexual orientation, age, and ethnicity are more meaningful to individuals in constructing their wardrobes. Today, clothes worn at work signify social class, but leisure clothes convey meanings ranging from trite to political. In today's multicode societies, clothes inhibit as well as facilitate communication between highly fragmented social groups. Crane extends her comparison by showing how nineteenth-century French designers created fashions that suited lifestyles of Paris elites but that were also widely adopted outside France. By contrast, today's designers operate in a global marketplace, shaped by television, film, and popular music. No longer confined to elites, trendsetters are drawn from many social groups, and most trends have short trajectories. To assess the impact of fashion on women, Crane uses voices of college-aged and middle-aged women who took part in focus groups. These discussions yield fascinating information about women's perceptions of female identity and sexuality in the fashion industry. An absorbing work, Fashion and Its Social Agendas stands out as a critical study of gender, fashion, and consumer culture. "Why do people dress the way they do? How does clothing contribute to a person's identity as a man or woman, as a white-collar professional or blue-collar worker, as a preppie, yuppie, or nerd? How is it that dress no longer denotes social class so much as lifestyle? . . . Intelligent and informative, [this] book proposes thoughtful answers to some of these questions."-Library Journal