The Abandonment of the West: The History of an Idea in American Foreign Policy

October 31, 2020
The Abandonment of the West: The History of an Idea in American Foreign Policy

This definitive portrait of American diplomacy revealshow the concept of the West drove twentieth-century foreign policy,how it fell from favor, and why it is worth saving.Throughout the twentieth century, many Americans saw themselvesas part of Western civilization, and Western ideals of liberty andself-government guided American diplomacy. But today, other ideasfill this role: on one side, a technocratic "liberal internationalorder," and on the other, the illiberal nationalism of "AmericaFirst."In The Abandonment of the West, historian Michael Kimmage showshow the West became the dominant idea in US foreign policy in thefirst half of the twentieth century -- and how that consensus hasunraveled. We must revive the West, he argues, to counterauthoritarian challenges from Russia and China. This is an urgentportrait of modern America's complicated origins, its emergence asa superpower, and the crossroads at which it now stands.