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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If this is a crossroads, then where is America headed?, 9 April 2006
This review is from: America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy (Hardcover)
This is a fascinating conceit by a true believer in a futile but clever attempt to explain why a greatly flawed ideology that fails in everyday practice is nonetheless true in theory.
Because of Prime Minister Tony Blair's absolute commitment to the policies of President George Bush, this book has profound relevance for the future of Great Britain.
Of course, Fukuyama once boasted about "the end of history" when communism collapsed. This book continues his flawed premise that the only idea of merit is the American way of doing things. History is littered with similar boasts, from Greek city states to Napoleon who believed all Europe would be vastly improved under his dynamic leadership.
It ain't necessarily so.
Two facts illustrate the folly of Fukuyama's basic assumptions: 1) Americans rightly resent outsiders telling them how to run their country, and 2) American global business is very sensitive to the "cultural relativity". Until Fukuyama and the "We're No. 1" crowd in the White House learn this, US foreign policy will continue to be a unilateral disaster.
"It seems very doubtful at this juncture that history will judge the Iraq war kindly," Fukuyama confesses near the end of the book. "Repairing American credibility will not be a matter of better public relations, it will require a new team and new policies . . . One of the consequences of a perceived failure in Iraq will be the discrediting of the entire neoconservative agenda."
In other words, dump Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice to salvage the wreckage of neoconservative fantasies. Like many pseudo-intellectuals, Fukuyama cannot admit his basic idea is badly flawed. This is the weakness of true believers who believe failure in reality simply means a more rigorous imposition of theflawed ideology.
What is the alternative? The London-based Financial Times lists eight American brands among the world's top ten. This shows the potential acceptance of American values, ideals and leadership; none of these brands succeed by using the neoconservative dogma.
However, the fundamental folly of Fukuyama doesn't leave his book without merit. Failure can be a powerful learning tool, and Fukuyama is certainly a jackdaw scholar when it comes to adroitly gathering flawed ideas into one concise dogma. Leaving aside those who think the Iraq war is a matchless success, this is a priceless collection of the follies, farragoes and fatuities that have produced an unprecedented decline in American prestige, power, respect and leadership.
Buy it. Read it. Think. If neoconservatives have truly placed "America at the Crossroads" of history, then this is probably the best available road map to explain the impending disaster. After all, it was written by one of the principal tour guides; if others can learn from history, they can make rational choices at the potentially deadly intersection between respect and relevance or rejection and revulsion.
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Location: PHOENIX, Arizona United States

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