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Who Speaks for America?: Why Democracy Matters in Foreign Policy Hardcover – 24 Sep 1998

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press; 801st edition (24 Sept. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801435749
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801435744
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 16 x 2.3 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,483,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


A historian and columnist for The Nation magazine demonstrates the lack of influence American citizens have over their country's foreign policy, the great stake they have in its success, and the importance of reforming the policy making process. UP.

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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
History Lessons 4 Feb. 2001
By O. M. Suarez - Published on
Format: Hardcover
As a non-US citizen, this eye-opening book is a challenge. Intricate, with massive information and intense analysis, the book is a must to understand how US foreign policy evolved and revolved around similar interventionist attitudes. History tells, according to Alterman, how it can repeat itself with the help of US officials. Rewritten history as in the Orwellian 1984 is the means by which the most antidemocratic facets of US state policies are set into place. I learned about this book in a C-Span 2 panel and Alterman's words did not disappointed me a bit.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Compelling case for a democratic foreign policy 23 July 2008
By J. Davis - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Eric Alterman is a rare journalist who actually believes in a democratic foreign policy. Yes, it is depressing that this thesis is even controversial, but it unfortunately is. Alterman makes an eloquent case for more public participation in the nation's foreign policy.

To prove his contention that leading intellectuals are anti-democratic, Alterman quotes one think tank policy "expert" who flat-out says, "I don't think the people should have any voice in foreign policy," (he does not unfortunately name the elitist). Alterman demonstrates that the elite consensus is wrong; popular opinion on foreign policy is neither irrational nor constantly shifting.

Best of all, Alterman is intellectually honest. A supporter of high levels of immigration, he nonetheless honest enough to admit that the American people want immigration greatly reduced. (This fact has been supported by numerous opinion polls conducted by the Chicago Council of Foreign Relations).He challenges pro-immigration advocates to make a better case for their position to the American people. I highly recommend Who Speaks for America.
3 of 65 people found the following review helpful
This book goes against the writing of founding fathers 7 Oct. 2003
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Our founding fathers had the good sense to create the United States as a represenative republic instead of a democracy.
The mess with true democracy and the recall mess in California show why the founding fathers were on the money with the idea of a represenative republic instead of giving the masses immediate control through the chaotic process of a true democracy.
This book as with all Eric Alterman books, his Altercation on, and his column in "the Nation" are designed to show us that the country should be to the left so that it goes along with Eric Alterman's ideals.
The purpose of this book and other Alterman books is to say since the government won't do things my way, I'll create a book based on questionable documentation to show why I'm right.
I don't fault Eric Alterman for his leftist and radical beliefs which are to the left of most liberals, democrats, and even Bill and Hillary Clinton.
What I don't like is when Eric Alterman tells the rest of us why were wrong when we don't agree with his leftist, liberal, and radical beliefs.
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