Book Review of Stanley Hoffman's Gulliver's Troubles

by Seyom Brown

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In what is considered the best of recent U.S. foreign policy critiques, Professor Hoffman analyzes the international system and the U.S. response through its habits of perception, decisionmaking, and diplomacy. These habits, useful in the international arena during the late 1940s and early 1950s, are no longer effective. The emergence of a “multi-hierarchical” system requires that the United States and Russia learn moderation and flexibility, working more through international organizations. The national style can be readjusted — Gulliver can be untied from the clumsy diplomacy reinforced by the Cold War — by utilizing important American ideals and skills: encouragement of diversity, military strategic expertise, peacemaking activity, and bargaining skills already acquired in domestic issues.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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