The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America’s Highest Office (Basic Books, forthcoming September 2017)
Why have recent presidents failed to bring promised change?
The Impossible Presidency charts the rise and fall of the American presidency, from the limited role envisaged by the Founding Fathers to its current status as the most powerful job in the world. Suri argues that the presidency is a victim of its own success — the vastness of the job makes it almost impossible to fulfill the expectations placed upon it. As managers of the world’s largest economy and military, contemporary presidents must react to a truly globalized world in a twenty-four-hour news cycle. There is little room left for bold vision.
Suri traces America’s disenchantment with our recent presidents to the inevitable mismatch between presidential promises and the structural limitations of the office. This book is essential reading for anyone trying to understand America’s fraught political climate.
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Sustainable Security: Rethinking American National Security Strategy (Oxford University Press, 2016)
As the world shifts away from the unquestioned American hegemony that followed in the wake of the Cold War, the United States is likely to face new kinds of threats and sharper resource constraints than it has in the past. However, the country’s alliances, military institutions, and national security strategy have changed little since the Cold War. American foreign and defense policies, therefore, should be assessed for their fitness for achieving sustainable national security amidst the dynamism of the international political economy, changing domestic politics, and even a changing climate.This book brings together sixteen leading scholars from across political science, history, and political economy to highlight a range of American security considerations that deserve a larger role in both scholarship and strategic decision-making.
Co-editors: Jeremi Suri and Benjamin Valentino
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The Power of the Past: History and Statecraft (Brookings Institution Press, 2015)
History, with its insights, analogies, and narratives, is central to the ways in which the United States interacts with the world. Historians and policymakers, however, rarely engage one another as they should. This book bridges that divide, bringing together leading scholars and policymakers to address the essential questions surrounding the history-policy relationship.
Chapters examine the historical “lessons” from World War II, the Vietnam War, the Yugoslav War, and the Persian Gulf War, as well as the American occupation of Japan, the rise of human rights, prohibitions on human trafficking, and the end of the Cold War. Scholars and policy practitioners collaborate to offer insights about the uses and misuses of history, and possible ways to improve both historical scholarship and policy-making in the future.
Co-editors: Hal Brands and Jeremi Suri.
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Foreign Policy Breakthroughs: Cases in Successful Diplomacy (Oxford University Press, 2015)
Drawing on deep historical research, this book aims to ‘reinvent’ diplomacy for our current era.The original and comparative research provides a foundation for thinking about what successful outreach, negotiation, and relationship-building with foreign actors should look like. Instead of focusing only on failures, as most studies do, this one interrogates success. The book provides a framework for defining successful diplomacy and implementing it in diverse contexts. Chapters analyze the activities of diverse diplomats (including state and non-state actors) in enduring cases, including: post-WWII relief, the rise of the non-aligned movement, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the U.S. opening to China, the Camp David Accords, the reunification of Germany, the creation of the European Union, the completion of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and relief aid to pre-2001 Afghanistan.
The cases are diverse and historical, but they are written with an eye toward contemporary challenges and opportunities. The book closes with systematic reflections on how current diplomats can improve their activities abroad. Foreign Policy Breakthroughs offers rigorous historical insights for present policy.
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Liberty’s Surest Guardian: American Nation-Building from the Founders to Obama (Free Press/Simon & Schuster, 2011)
Americans are a nation-building people, and in Liberty’s Surest Guardian, Jeremi Suri looks to America’s history to see both what it has to offer to failed states around the world and what it should avoid. Far from being cold imperialists, Americans have earnestly attempted to export their invention of representative government to failing states throughout the world. We have had successes (Reconstruction after the American Civil War, the Philippines, Western Europe) and failures (Vietnam), and we can learn a good deal from both. Nation-building is in America’s DNA. It dates back to the days of the Revolution when the founding fathers invented the concept of popular sovereignty–the idea that you cannot have a national government without a collective will. The framers of the Constitution initiated a policy of cautious nation-building, hoping not to conquer other countries, but to build a world of stable, self-governed societies that would support America’s way of life. Yet no other country has created more problems for itself and for others by intervening in distant lands and pursuing impractical changes.
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American Foreign Relations Since 1898: A Documentary Reader (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010)
This volume brings together more than 50 documents which examine foreign policy not only in terms of leaders and states, but also through social movements, cultures, ideas, and images, to provide comprehensive understanding of how Americans have interacted with the wider world since 1898.
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Henry Kissinger and the American Century (Harvard Univ Press, 2007)
What made Henry Kissinger the kind of diplomat he was? What experiences and influences shaped his worldview and provided the framework for his approach to international relations? Jeremi Suri offers a thought-provoking, interpretive study of one of the most influential and controversial political figures of the twentieth century.
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The Global Revolutions of 1968 (W.W. Norton, 2007)
The revolutions of 1968 represent the culmination of 1960s protest movements across the globe. This casebook explores the common sources of protest and the mechanisms by which unrest became a global phenomenon. It also includes in-depth discussion of how different countries reacted to the protests.
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Power and Protest (Harvard Univ Press, 2003)
Jeremi Suri puts the tumultuous 1960s into a truly international perspective in the first study to examine the connections between great power diplomacy and global social protest. He describes connections between policy and protest from the Berkeley riots to the Prague Spring, from the Paris strikes to massive unrest in Wuhan, China. The growth of distrust and disillusion in nearly every society left a lasting legacy of global unrest, fragmentation, and unprecedented public skepticism toward authority.
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