Summary of The Case for Goliath

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The Case for Goliath book summary


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Some political books written by academics are too deep and detailed, but this one is for people who want the big picture, or at least, a version of the big picture. Author and historian Michael Mandelbaum makes his point quickly: the United States is the globe’s economic and military police officer, and the world needs it to fill that role. Mandelbaum illustrates his contention with a compilation of the Iraq War’s history, and a look at relevant world events from the Cold War to today. His narrative has some tendency to roam, although his tangents are often interesting. In one chapter, a discussion of oil moves to sections on conservation, fossil fuels, greenhouse gases, international trade and monetary policy. However, getAbstract believes that he makes his views clear: even countries that criticize America’s role accept the benefits it provides. Given this, the U.S. must decide how long it wants to, or can afford to, be the world’s cop, with both the power and the enmity that this role incurs.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How the U.S. got the job of maintaining world economic and military order; and
  • What factors gave rise to international anti-American sentiment.

About the Author

Michael Mandelbaum is a professor of American foreign policy at The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C. He is a foreign affairs columnist for Newsday, and the author or co-author of nine books, including The Ideas that Conquered the World.



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Some critics contend that the U.S.A. is the modern world’s empire. Certain statistics imply that these voices could be correct. For example, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, the U.S. economy was larger than those of Germany, Japan and ...

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