- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center Newsletter

Hot Off the Presses

| Summer 2013

The Resurgence of the West: How a Transatlantic Union Can Prevent War and Restore the United States and Europe

By Richard Rosecrance, Director, Project on U.S.-China Relations

Yale University Press (June 2013)

After two centuries of ascent, the United States finds itself in economic decline. Some advise America to cure its woes alone. But the road to isolation leads inevitably to the end of U.S. leadership in the international system, warns Richard Rosecrance in this bold and novel book. Instead, Rosecrance calls for the United States to join forces with the European Union and create a transatlantic economic union. Such a U.S.-Europe community would unblock arteries of trade and investment, rejuvenate the West, and enable Western countries to deal with East Asian challenges from a position of unity and economic strength.

“Richard Rosecrance’s The Resurgence of the West is a searching meditation on international order, Western unity, and the imperatives of an American world role.”

—Henry Kissinger, former U.S. Secretary of State

Presidential Leadership and the Creation of the American Era

By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

Princeton University Press (May 2012)

This book examines the foreign policy decisions of the presidents who presided over the most critical phases of America’s rise to world primacy in the twentieth century, and assesses the effectiveness and ethics of their choices. Joseph Nye reveals how some presidents tried with varying success to forge a new international order while others sought to manage America’s existing position.

The book shows how transformational presidents like Wilson and Reagan changed how America sees the world, but argues that transactional presidents like Eisenhower and the elder Bush were sometimes more effective and ethical. It also draws important lessons for today’s uncertain world, in which presidential decision making is more critical than ever.

“A compelling study of the use and misuse of power in the modern age. Written by one of our country’s foremost scholars, the book examines America’s ascent through a White House lens. . . . Utterly nonpartisan . . . valuable for experts and general readers alike.”

—Madeleine Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State

Intelligence and Surprise Attack: Failure and Success from Pearl Harbor to 9/11 and Beyond

By Erik J. Dahl; Former Research Fellow, International Security Program

Georgetown University Press (October 2013)

Intelligence and Surprise Attack examines why surprise attacks often succeed even though, in most cases, warnings had been available beforehand. Erik J. Dahl challenges the conventional wisdom about intelligence failure. Comparing cases of intelligence failure with intelligence success, Dahl finds that the key to success is not more imagination or better analysis, but better acquisition of precise, tactical-level intelligence combined with the presence of decision makers who are willing to listen to and act on the warnings they receive from their intelligence staff.

The book offers a new understanding of classic cases of conventional and terrorist attacks such as Pearl Harbor, the Battle of Midway, and the bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The book also presents a comprehensive analysis of the intelligence picture before the 9/11 attacks, making use of new information available since the publication of the 9/11 Commission Report and challenging some of that report’s findings.

“. . . Dahl advances the study of surprise attack by looking at intelligence successes as well as failures, stressing the value of warnings that are precise enough to merit action, and reminding us that warnings will influence only those who are prepared to heed them. . . .”

—Robert Jervis, Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of Political Science, Columbia University

Rising Tide: Is Growth in Emerging Economies Good for the United States?

By Lawrence Edwards and Robert Z. Lawrence, Board Member, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Peterson Institute for International Economics (February 2013)

In 1963, U.S. President John F. Kennedy said that “a rising tide lifts all the boats. And a partnership, by definition, serves both parties, without domination or unfair advantage.” U.S. international economic policy since World War II has been based on the premise that foreign economic growth is in America’s economic, as well as political and security, self-interest. The bursting of the speculative dot.com bubble, slowing U.S. growth, and the global financial crisis and its aftermath, however, have led to radical changes in Americans’ perceptions of the benefits of global trade.

In this study, Lawrence Edwards and Robert Z. Lawrence confront these fears through an extensive survey of the empirical literature and in-depth analyses of the evidence. They find considerable evidence that while adjusting to foreign economic growth does present America with challenges, growth in emerging-market economies is in America’s economic interest. It is hard, of course, for Americans to become used to a world in which the preponderance of economic activity is located in Asia. But one of America’s great strengths is its adaptability. And if it does adapt, the American economy can be buoyed by that rising tide.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Lynch, Susan M.. Hot Off the Presses.” Belfer Center Newsletter (Summer 2013).