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The Choice

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The Choice

Global Domination or Global Leadership

Basic Books,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

America has never been so powerful, or so much in danger. If it uses its power for cooperation, can it lessen its risks?

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Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Eye Opening
  • Visionary


The geopolitical landscape evolves so fast that almost any book about global politics ages before the ink can dry. Zbigniew Brzezinski - known as one of the keenest students of American defense and diplomacy since his service in the Carter administration - urges European-American rapprochement over Iraq. He calls for a transition from a war against terrorism to a moral war for global equality and political representation, namely, democracy. No doubt due to unfortunate timing, his book does not account for recent democratic elections in the Middle East or for new transatlantic diplomatic initiatives. Regardless, he uses his laser-beam intellect to show convincingly how globalism, American geopolitical dominance and American cultural imperialism are interacting to create a perfect storm of misunderstanding that leaves Uncle Sam with a tough choice: how to react to terrorism without overreacting and causing U.S. isolation. He concludes that America can choose to lead or to dominate, but not both. strongly recommends this book to students of globalism and the ongoing experiment of global democracy.


Where the United States Stands

America has become the country of paradoxes. It is the world’s unrivaled superpower, yet its citizens feel less secure than ever. It is the globe’s ultimate guarantor of stability, and yet its own citizens suffer from a sense of instability. Insecurity is probably a reality Americans simply have to learn to live with, as they discover that globalization cannot exist without global interdependence. Although America enjoys unrivaled hegemony - the potential to dominate other states - the question is: "Hegemony for the sake of what?"

Will America use its power to nurture a new global community of shared interest? Or will it use it in vain attempts to solidify a security posture that can never be restored without greater international order and cooperation? America is fated to be the catalyst for global community, or the cause of global chaos. It can choose to dominate the world, or to lead it.

America and the Common Good

America’s role on the world scene is primarily influenced by two realities: its unprecedented global power, and increasing global interactions that are shrinking the global village. This combination is creating...

About the Author

Zbigniew Brzezinski served as the National Security Advisor under President Jimmy Carter, and is currently a Counselor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a professor of foreign policy at The Johns Hopkins University. He has written eight previous books, including Grand Failure and The Grand Chessboard.

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