Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Andrew Bacevich's "The New American Militarism"

Andrew J. Bacevich is Professor of History and International Relations at Boston University. His most recent book is The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War.

He applied the "Page 99 Test" to the book and reported the following:
I'm afraid that my book flunks the page 99 test -- although whether that's a reflection on the book or the test, I'm not prepared to say.

The New American Militarism argues that in the aftermath of the Cold War Americans had become infatuated with military power, an infatuation that has perversely affected US policy.

The book concerns itself less with the implications of this new American militarism than with its origins. In essence, it addresses the question: how was it that we came to have such inflated and misguided expectations of what American power could do? The short answer provided by the book is this: various groups in American society saw in the revival and celebration of US military power the antidote to all that in their eyes had gone wrong with the country in the 1960s. One of those "groups" was the Republican Party. Page 99 of the book just begins to introduce Ronald Reagan as the GOP's most effective advocate of a military revival -- although this particular chapter concludes by showing that Bill Clinton, a keen student of Reagan's political success, had come to embrace much of Reagan's posture in time for the presidential campaign of 1992.
Learn more about Bacevich's The New American Militarism at the Oxford University Press website.

--Marshal Zeringue