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Clinton's World

Remaking American Foreign Policy

by William G. Hyland

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March 1999


Pages 232
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Politics, Law, and Government/Presidential Studies
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No modern U.S. president inherited a stronger, safer international position than Bill Clinton. In 1992, the Cold War was over, and the nation was at peace and focused on domestic issues. Despite this temporary tranquility, Clinton would soon be faced with a barrage of crises, including flare-ups of unrest in the Middle East, ethnic conflict in Yugoslavia, uneasy relations with Japan and China, persistent trouble in the Persian Gulf, the dissolution of the USSR, and disastrous situations in Somalia and Haiti.

In this comprehensive and balanced examination of Clinton's foreign policy—the first such book to cover all the global focal points of his administration to date—William G. Hyland brilliantly shows the effects of combining this confusion with Clinton's unique personality characteristics. His first term was marked, in the author's analysis, by murky policy, unrealistic goals, and the mishandling of several crises. By the end of that term he learned some hard lessons, was able to alter his pattern of response, and reversed himself on some major aspects of foreign policy—all to benefit, in the author's view, the country and the world as a whole.

Table of Contents

The LegacyMandate for ChangeInterventionNation BuildingSouth of the BorderRussiaEuropean SecurityAsian TanglesUnsinkable JapanWatershedEndgameOslo and BeyondIraqCrisis ManagementBetween Hope and HistorySelected BibliographyIndex



In 15 crisp, readable chapters, Hyland chronicles the evolution of the president's outlook from inexperience and idealism to trial-and-error pragmatism.—Library Journal

Hyland doesn't shrink for a strong conclusion: adopting an ad hoc 'selective engagement' approach instead of a clear direction for American foreign policy has meant that 'a magnificent historical opportunity to shape the international system had been missed.' Clinton's blunders invite this kind of harsh criticism.—Kirkus Reviews

Without a blueprint to replace the one designed to orchestrate the cold war world, the Clintonites have blown their historical opportunity, according to Hyland, a caustic assessment congenial to Clinton opponents.—Booklist

^IClinton's World^R provides an interesting account of the many zig-zags of the Clinton foreign policy and its various domestic and international crises. It is a good introduction to the topic that emphasizes both strengths and limitations on the use of American power—Booklist

Hyland has written a superb book on Bill Clinton's foreign policy. At the heart of the book are the case studies in which Hyland builds on his own extensive knowledge and experience in the foreign policy proces. Hyland's the strongest analytical study we have of Clinton's foreign policy.—Political Science Quarterly

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