Magazine article Foreign Affairs

Realism and Democracy: American Foreign Policy after the Arab Spring

Magazine article Foreign Affairs

Realism and Democracy: American Foreign Policy after the Arab Spring

Article excerpt

Realism and Democracy: American Foreign Policy After the Arab Spring BY ELLIOTT ABRAMS. Cambridge University Press, 2017, 295 pp.

Abrams' experience in U.S. foreign policy stretches back to the Reagan years, but he is best known as a neoconservative who advised President George W. Bush. In the fascinating introduction to this book, Abrams traces his intellectual development and explores the roots of his worldview. He presents U.S. foreign policy as a Manichaean realm, split between leaders committed to spreading and strengthening democracy and human rights (Ronald Reagan, Bush) and those who believe such concerns to be peripheral to U.S. strategic interests (Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, Barack Obama). Abrams' view makes sense only if one embraces the idea of U. …

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