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Taming American Power: The Global Response to U.S. Primacy

| September 2005


In this elegant and provocative new book, Kennedy School professor and renowned scholar Stephen M. Walt analyzes the different strategies that states employ to counter U.S. power or to harness it for their own ends. These responses threaten America’s ability to achieve its foreign policy goals and may eventually undermine its dominant position. To prevent this, Walt argues, the United States must adopt a foreign policy that other states welcome, rather than one that reinforces their fear of American power.

Stephen M. Walt is the academic dean and Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and Co-Editor of the Cornell Studies in Security Affairs. He is the author of The Origins of Alliances, which received the 1988 Edgar S. Furniss National Security Book Award, and Revolution and War. Walt lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.  

Praise for Taming American Power: The Global Response to U.S. Primacy.

"The greatest value of 'Taming American Power,' Stephen M. Walt's brilliant contribution to the American foreign policy debate, is that it places its readers in the minds of the leaders and citizens of other states, including the country's rivals. This is something that really ought to be among the most obvious duties of all foreign policy analysts."

ANATOL LIEVEN,  New York Times Sunday Book Review

“This is a path-breaking book for both the informed public and policy makers, for whom it should be required reading and who would do well to follow its recommendations.” 

SAMUEL HUNTINGTON, Albert J. Weatherhead III University Professor, Harvard University, and author of The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order

Taming American Power is a brilliant book. It confirms Stephen Walt’s status as one of the most lucid and original thinkers on world politics today.” 

MOSES NAÍM, Editor and Publisher, Foreign Policy , former Venezuelan Minister of Trade and Industry and World Bank Executive Director

“Stephen Walt’s timing is perfect and his analysis is brilliant. Americans want to know: What went wrong in the Middle East? Why is the United States hated around the world? What happened to the unipolar moment and benevolent hegemony? Walt has the answers. Taming American Power shows why U.S. foreign policy generates resentment and how America’s allies and rivals exploit and thwart it. This important book is a must-read for anyone who believes that America needs a new foreign policy.”

— JOHN J. MEARSHEIMER, R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago, and author of The Tragedy of Great Power Politics 

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Taming American Power: The Global Response to U.S. Primacy

Taming American Power: The Global Response to U.S. Primacy
For more information on this publication: Please contact the Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Walt, Stephen M.. Taming American Power: The Global Response to U.S. Primacy. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, September 2005.