A couple of years back I conducted a series of interviews with Dr. Thomas P.M. Barnett on his best-selling and hugely influential The Pentagon’s New Map. We spent an hour a week for eight weeks doing a chapter-by-chapter conversation about the book. I don’t think anything like it had ever been done on talk radio, but the audience loved it. Dr. Barnett and I don’t agree on crucial issues –especially on how to deal with Iran– but my job is to deliver a program that attracts as wide an audience as possible for subjects that matter greatly. That series did exactly that.
Dr. Barnett has a new book out, one that is often very critical of President Bush and his Administration’s conduct of American foreign policy. Unlike most such books, this one balances the criticism with calibrated appreciation, and argues not from any agenda of scoring political points but of advancing a competing approach to the conduct of grand strategy. It is thus a fascinating and detailed counter-account of what just happened, and a detailed prescription of what should happen next. Great Powers: American and the World after Bush is thus part of the necessary bookshelf that any serious participant in the conversation of where we ought to go next will have to read.
As an assist to that project, I begin a series of interviews with Dr. Barnett on Wednesday’s program. We’ll cover chapters one and two of Great Powers in the first hour of the program, and reconvene for about a chapter a week for the next few weeks thereafter. Get the book, catch up and read along. You will be very glad you did, even if you are, like I am, a great admirer of the Bush Administration’s strategic direction.