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Grand Chessboard [Hardcover]

Zbigniew Brezinski
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

18 Nov 1997
Best-selling author and former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski offers a bold new global vision for extending American preeminence in the 21st Century. . As the twentieth century draws to a close, the United States has emerged as the worlds only superpower: no other nation possesses comparable military and economic power or has interests that bestride the globe. Yet the critical question facing America remains unanswered: What should be the nations global strategy for maintaining its exceptional position in the world? Zbigniew Brzezinski tackles this question head-on in this incisive and pathbreaking book. As the twentieth century draws to a close, the United States has emerged as the worlds only superpower: no other nation possesses comparable military and economic power or has interests that bestride the globe. Yet the critical question facing America remains unanswered: What should be the nations global strategy for maintaining its exceptional position in the world? Zbigniew Brzezinski tackles this question head-on in this incisive and pathbreaking book. The Grand Chessboard presents Brzezinskis bold and provocative geostrategic vision for American preeminence in the twenty-first century. Central to his analysis is the exercise of power on the Eurasian landmass, which is home to the greatest part of the globes population, natural resources, and economic activity. Stretching from Portugal to the Bering Strait, from Lapland to Malaysia, Eurasia is the grand chessboard on which Americas supremacy will be ratified and challenged in the years to come. The task facing the United States, he argues, is to manage the conflicts and relationships in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East so that no rival superpower arises to threaten our interests or our well-being. The heart of The Grand Chessboard is Brzezinskis analysis of the four critical regions of Eurasia and of the stakes for America in each arenaEurope, Russia, Central Asia, and East Asia. The crucial fault lines may seem familiar, but the implosion of the Soviet Union has created new rivalries and new relationships, and Brzezinski maps out the strategic ramifications of the new geopolitical realities. He explains, for example: Why France and Germany will play pivotal geostrategic roles, whereas Britain and Japan will not. Why NATO expansion offers Russia the chance to undo the mistakes of the past, and why Russia cannot afford to toss this opportunity aside. *Why the fate of Ukraine and Azerbaijan are so important to America. *Why viewing China as a menace is likely to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. *Why America is not only the first truly global superpower but also the lastand what the implications are for Americas legacy. . Brzezinskis surprising and original conclusions often turn conventional wisdom on its head as he lays the groundwork for a new and compelling vision of Americas vital interests. Once, again, Zbigniew Brzezinski provides our nation with a philosophical and practical guide for maintaining and managing our hard-won global power.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; 1 edition (18 Nov 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465027253
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465027255
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.7 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,561,242 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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About the Author

Zbigniew Brzezinski, the National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter, is a counselor and trustee at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a professor of American foreign policy at the School of Advanced International Studies, the Johns Hopkins University, both located in Washington, D.C. His many books include The Choice and The Grand Chessboard. He lives in Washington, D.C. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a 'must read book 19 Nov 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For anyone interested in the motivations that underpin current American foreign policy thinking, this is a 'must read' book. I came to it because of the number of times it was referenced by other authors and decided that it was time that I read it too. The title of the book explains its analytical purpose. It is very much about how the USA can continue to assert its primacy and the manner in which it needs to do so. Reading this analysis of America's global strategic imperatives, especially for the long-term control and security of oil supplies, shows why the USA is in Iraq, Afghanistan now and, latterly, why it is becoming more involved in Africa in countries where oil and minerals are yet to be exploited intensively. It also explains America's military, diplomatic and commercial presence in countries that encircle Russia and border on China.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unsettling material, but very well written. 23 July 2007
I have to agree with the review from the Publishers Weekly found on the reverse of the so much as while I found quite a lot of the information/commentary troubling, I also relise that it is a very realistic appraisal of the state of global balance of power (or lack there of), and portrays arguably a realistic view of where 'we' are all headed. Brzezinski also did I feel a find job of setting the world scene historically. That is not to say that I have any delusions about where Mr. Brzezinski is comming from...(in my opinion) the Dark Side of the Force, but he does know how to write a very readable book. N.B. I would recomend reading this book in conjunction with any of the following: The new rulers of the World, Web of Deceit - Mark Curtis, Unholy Trinity, and Resource Wars.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Guide: Especially for Central Asia 7 Feb 2003
This really is an extremely well written book which describes the fascinating interconnecting world of geopolitics of our times. Published in 1997, important areas which the book covers are America's unprecedented place in the world (most specifically the all important Eurasia); Russia's current "one solution" dilema along with its geopolitical interests; and those of France and other geostrategic players (Britain not included). Most interesting of all is a superb analysis and overview of what he describes as the the most important geostrategic zone of our time: "The Eurasian Balkins". This zone, also known as Central Asia, is described by Brzenzesky as being in a political vacuum since the fall of the Soviet Union, while it is also in possession of perhaps the world's most massive quantities of energy resources and perhaps ethnic tensions as well. He describes in clear detail the workings of the regional Central Asian geopolitics and its important players. The set of circumstances so described are also said to coincide the explosion of energy needs in East Asia. Since now, in 2003, the USA appears to be on the verge of constructing two huge military bases on its southern flank in Afghanistan and in Iraq, I am unable to suggest a better "beginner's guidebook" for what appears to be the start of what could be one of America's most bold (or risky, depending on the perspective) attempts at increasing its hegemony and short and long term "self-interests". Vast fortunes are to be made, yet the capacity for extreme violance should not be underestimated. This book explains the hows and whys. Amazingly, all this can be read about in less than a few days as the book is very lean and compact.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting 5 Aug 2013
By Kendo
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
He's a very clever guy is Mr. Brzezinski!! This book was originally wrote in 1979, and looking around us know, the American plan is well under way. Well worth a read.
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34 of 43 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars change we can't believe in! 14 Jan 2009
If you want to know why the world won't change under Obama - read this book, and look up this guy on youtube - there are some disturbing clips out there! Remember that it was this guy that funded and encouraged the muhajadeen in Afghanistan (before the Russian invasion), thus helping to create Islamic fundamentalism - which of course then serves to justify America's terrible and ongoing human rights abuses. Brzezinski is Obama's Foreign Policy advisor. -Change we can believe in? Yeah, right.
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29 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars We are sitting on a pile of explosives ! 3 April 2001
If you believe that Imperialism and Slavery are the words of History, then you must read this book. The book helped me to understand the meaning of imperialism in present context. It also shows how US has used/abused the terms like "human rights" and "democracy". Brzezinski frankly admits the goal of US policy of Hegemony over its "tributpflichtigen Vasallen" [tributary vassals] and control of bridgeheads on the Eurasian continent.
"Zbig" has presented a spectrum of world politics but the treatment of Middle East politics and the reason for Russia's Breakup is not adequate. He fails to vision some of the dangers of USA's adventurism to become the landlord of this Global village. The book also lacks the description of its secret service organizations and it role in media.
Although he do shows the pitfalls of US policy in military perspective, but he has failed to bring out the fallacy of the policy from more complete perspective.
The book may prove useful for our political leaders for framing the policies, only if they are really concerned...which again is a rare case. The book may also provoke the more determined leaders to experiment with America's formula for world dominance.
But will the other nations of the world always remain in the role of pawns?. A single move will not only checkmate US but also end the game and the board. Hence this book gives me another reason to be worried for world peace. It has confirmed my perception that we are sitting on a pile of explosives.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential read
I can't recommend this book enough, fantastic stuff. Though if you have no interest in geopolitics, its obviously not for you. Too lazy to write proper review.
Published 13 months ago by Danielle Walker
2.0 out of 5 stars Out of date
Dating from 1997, so much has changed in the meantime, in particular what brzezinski characterizes as the predominant position of the us, that the book is hopelessly dated.
Published 18 months ago by Mr. P. Murphy
2.0 out of 5 stars Wildly inaccurate projections, but there you go
I read this book a few years ago in 2007, ten years after it was written. Already back then it seemed out of date; I only read it to amuse myself at just how inaccurate and... Read more
Published on 3 July 2011 by NR
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the money!
This is a good read and is not out of date today (written in 1996?). Indeed the content is very relevant today. Read more
Published on 23 Mar 2011 by Gerant
5.0 out of 5 stars Geopolitical drama: Awesome
Very good book about American hegemony and the different players in the geopolitical game.

Evidently, Brzezinkski is a very talented author and I am a keen admirer of... Read more
Published on 13 July 2009 by Powerbaby01
2.0 out of 5 stars Utter nonsense in some parts
Although the book provides useful insight into American Political planning, I must say that I find the book a bit off putting. Read more
Published on 5 April 2006
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye-opening, challenging and clarifying.
This is a very thought provoking work by Professor Brzezinski. A lot of reactionary people will detest this work for being very "Machiavellian", however, that won't... Read more
Published on 25 July 2001
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