by Hal Brands
Cornell University Press
July 24, 2014
Grand strategy is one of the most widely used and abused concepts in the foreign policy lexicon. What makes grand strategy such an alluring – and elusive – concept to the makers of American statecraft, and how feasible is its realization? Hal Brands takes a historical approach to these questions, examining how four presidential administrations, from that of Harry S. Truman to that of George W. Bush, sought to “do” grand strategy at key inflection points in the history of modern U.S. foreign policy. As examples ranging from the early Cold War to the Reagan years to the War on Terror demonstrate, grand strategy can be an immensely rewarding undertaking—but also one that is full of pitfalls on the long road between conception and implementation. Brands concludes by offering valuable suggestions for how American leaders might approach the challenges of grand strategy in the years to come.



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