The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives

The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives

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By (author) Zbigniew Brzezinski

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  • Publisher: BASIC BOOKS
  • Format: Paperback | 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 55mm x 80mm x 10mm | 50g
  • Publication date: 18 September 1998
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0465027261
  • ISBN 13: 9780465027262
  • Illustrations note: maps, charts, tables
  • Sales rank: 30,419

Product description

As the twentieth century draws to a close, the United States has emerged as the world's only superpower: no other nation possesses comparable military and economic power or has interests that bestride the globe. Yet the critical question facing America remains unanswered: What should be the nation's global strategy for maintaining its exceptional position in the world? Zbigniew Brzezinski tackles this question head-on in this incisive and pathbreaking book.The Grand Chessboard presents Brzezinski's bold and provocative geostrategic vision for American preeminence in the twenty-first century. Central to his analysis is the exercise of power on the Eurasian landmass, which is home to the greatest part of the globe's population, natural resources, and economic activity. Stretching from Portugal to the Bering Strait, from Lapland to Malaysia, Eurasia is the "grand chessboard" on which America's supremacy will be ratified and challenged in the years to come. The task facing the United States, he argues, is to manage the conflicts and relationships in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East so that no rival superpower arises to threaten our interests or our well-being.The heart of The Grand Chessboard is Brzezinski's analysis of the four critical regions of Eurasia and of the stakes for America in each arena--Europe, Russia, Central Asia, and East Asia. The crucial fault lines may seem familiar, but the implosion of the Soviet Union has created new rivalries and new relationships, and Brzezinski maps out the strategic ramifications of the new geopolitical realities. He explains, for example: Why France and Germany will play pivotal geostrategic roles, whereas Britain and Japan will not. Why NATO expansion offers Russia the chance to undo the mistakes of the past, and why Russia cannot afford to toss this opportunity aside. Why the fate of Ukraine and Azerbaijan are so important to America. Why viewing China as a menace is likely to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Why America is not only the first truly global superpower but also the last--and what the implications are for America's legacy. Brzezinski's surprising and original conclusions often turn conventional wisdom on its head as he lays the groundwork for a new and compelling vision of America's vital interests. Once, again, Zbigniew Brzezinski provides our nation with a philosophical and practical guide for maintaining and managing our hard-won global power.

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Author information

Zbigniew Brzezinski, the National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter, is a counselor and trustee at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a professor of American foreign policy at the School of Advanced International Studies, the Johns Hopkins University, both located in Washington, D.C. His many books include The Choice and The Grand Chessboard. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Editorial reviews

The former national security advisor is still a believer in geopolitics after all these years. Like most foreign-policy aficionados weaned on the Cold War, Brzezinski (Out of Control, 1993) has been forced by the disintegration of the Soviet Union to broaden his perspective - but not very far. He sees the US as the only global superpower, but inability to maintain its hegemony indefinitely means that "geostrategic skill" is essential. To what end is not specified beyond the vague shaping of "a truly cooperative global community" that is in "the fundamental interests of humankind," but in this genre, goals are commonly assumed rather than examined. In any case, Brzezinski casts Eurasia as the playing field upon which the world's fate is determined and analyzes the possibilities in Europe, the former Soviet Union, the Balkans (interpreted broadly), and the Far East. Like a grandmaster in chess, he plots his strategy several moves in advance, envisioning a three-stage development. Geopolitical pluralism must first be promoted to defuse challenges to America, then compatible international partners must be developed to encourage cooperation under American leadership, and finally the actual sharing of international political responsibility can be considered. The twin poles of this strategy are a united Europe in the West and China in the East; the central regions are more problematic and, for Brzezinski, not as critical in constructing a stable balance of power. This updated version of East-West geopolitics is worth taking seriously but it is also an amazing example of how a perspective can be revised without actually being rethought. (Kirkus Reviews)

Table of contents

* Introduction: Superpower Politics * Hegemony of a New Type * The Eurasian Chessboard * The Democratic Bridgehead * The Black Hole * The Eurasian Balkans * The Far Eastern Anchor * Conclusion