Word Politics

Word Politics : Verbal Strategy Among the Superpowers

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Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 140 x 220mm | 170g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • 0195014596
  • 9780195014594

Review Text

The authors argue that national self-interest demands that the U.S. "re-examine our rhetoric." When we invoke the right to hemispheric hegemony to justify our Guatamalan, Cuban, and Dominican interventions, we give the Russians the perfect cover for their own interventions: "explanations of our conduct anticipated the Brezhnev Doctrine" of freedom to discipline a member of the socialist community. Most of the book is devoted to this proposition. The authors also argue that the U.S. should abandon the "dual ghetto" system of spheres of interest in fact as well as in principle. The U.S.S.R., they say, has more to gain from it than we. Their third major point is that verbal diplomacy and symbolic deeds can be useful in achieving a new understanding with the Soviets. It is a short book, but it could have been shorter: divested of ornamental references to deterrence strategies and systemic views and detailed citations of the official statements surrounding each intervention, it would have made a tidy article. At any rate no one can doubt the thesis that it is useful for a nation's spokesmen to listen themselves "as if they were the enemy speaking." (Kirkus Reviews)show more

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