Review: The Idea that is America–Keeping Faith With Our Values in a Dangerous World

4 Star, America (Founders, Current Situation), Consciousness & Social IQ, Culture, Research, Democracy, Diplomacy, History, Justice (Failure, Reform), Philosophy, Politics, Public Administration, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Best of Intentions, Good Individual Effort,

February 20, 2010

Anne-Marie Slaughter

Now that my own book INTELLIGENCE for EARTH: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainaabilty is at the printer am back into reading and really looking forward to catching up with the 25 books on my “to do” shelf. This one jumped to the top of the list at the recommendation of James Fallows, recently back from China and author of Blind Into Baghdad: America’s War in Iraq among many other extraordinary books.

See my five-star review of the same author’s A New World Order, which is the better book for professionals. This book I recommend to those who are, like the author of the book, emerging counter-culture spirits, restless in harness, acutely aware of the hypocrisy of “Empire as Usual” under this nominally liberal Administration as under the last. My book Election 2008: Lipstick on the Pig (Substance of Governance; Legitimate Grievances; Candidates on the Issues; Balanced Budget 101; Call to Arms: Fund We Not Them; Annotated Bibliography) covers the same ground from a more pragmatic focus on the need for reality-based governance.

I have two competing views of this book. The first, beyond five stars, is earned by this quote from page 13:

QUOTE: In our history, the greatest patriots have been those leaders and ordinary citizens who have dared to hold America to our own highest standards–even at the cost of ostracism, punishment, imprisonment and, at times–e3ven death.” I would add unemployment to the list–Washington today does NOT want to hear truth about anything at all.

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Review: A New World Order

5 Star, Change & Innovation, Complexity & Resilience, Decision-Making & Decision-Support, Democracy, Diplomacy, Information Operations, Information Society, Intelligence (Government/Secret), Intelligence (Public), Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Politics, Priorities, Security (Including Immigration), Survival & Sustainment, United Nations & NGOs, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution
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5.0 out of 5 stars For a Serving Elite, Genius–Out of Touch with Non-Elites

February 20, 2010

Anne-Marie Slaughter

Now that my own book INTELLIGENCE for EARTH: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainability is at the printer am back into reading and really looking forward to catching up with the 25 books on my “to do” shelf. This one jumped to the top of the list at the recommendation of James Fallows, recently back from China and author of Blind Into Baghdad: America’s War in Iraq among many other extraordinary books.

This might have been a four because despite the gifted genius of the author–I use the term with admiration–the book is out of touch with two thirds or more of the relevant literature and all the non-elite movements that are doing precisely what she advocates but DISPLACING governments.

HOWEVER, the recurring theme of multinational information-sharing and information-driven harmonization grabbed me by the throat. A handful of quoted phrases, generally citing others properly end-noted:

+ European agencies “are best described as ‘information agencies.’ Their job is to collect, coordination, and disseminate information needed by policymakers.

+ “Modes of regulation based on information and persuasion…”

+ “Debousee also sees the European information agencies as network creators and coordinators.”

+ “In short, the ability to provide credible information and an accompanying reputation for credibility become sources of soft power.” She acknowledged here that non-governmental organization networks are doing this now, and that government networks need to do more of this.
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