Hal Brands is Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor of Global Affairs at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. His other books include What Good Is Grand Strategy? and Making the Unipolar Moment. He has served in the Pentagon as a special assistant to the secretary of defense for strategic planning.
Brands’ work is highbrow political philosophy rather than ideological screed, personally motivated attack or advertorial. America and its place in the world order, Brands writes, is more uncertain than ever. He addresses the role of Trump and the “America First” policy in relation to this dynamic and explores the emerging role of America in world affairs.—Andrew Madigan, The Guardian
Hal Brands is the bright new star among American strategic thinkers. He is at once profound and sensible. In these essays he takes on the questions that all Americans are asking, or should be asking, about their nation’s proper place in the world today. His writing is lively, his thinking original, and his scholarship impressive. This is certainly one of the finest books you will read on American strategy in the Trump era.—Robert Kagan, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and author of The World America Made
As well as providing another excellent, historically grounded contribution to the literature on grand strategy, Hal Brands has produced one of most substantive appraisals of the Trump administration’s statecraft to date.—William James, The RUSI Journal
Few scholars have done more than Hal Brands to illuminate American grand strategy, and in this book he has done it again. Written with deep insight and welcome clarity, Brands provides an indispensable guide to understanding our troubled times. His book is must-reading for anyone interested in how U.S. foreign policy is made—and where it is going.—Derek Chollet, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense and author of The Long Game: How Obama Defied Washington and Redefined America’s Role in the World
This important book focuses on American grand strategy or overall objectives guiding US foreign policy, particularly during the post–Cold War period through the first year of the Trump administration. Relying on sound scholarship and clear reasoning throughout, Brands (Johns Hopkins) argues that there has been considerable continuity of a positive American grand strategy, including reliance on a strong US global presence, and that calls for fundamental changes in this strategy are ill-conceived. Recommended.—CHOICE
Over the past decade no one has written about contemporary American grand strategy more cogently than Hal Brands. Informed by his earlier volumes on the rise of unipolarity, the end of the Cold War, and utility of grand strategy, the essays in this book provide an invaluable guide to the transition from the Age of Obama to the Era of Trump. It should be required reading for scholars, pundits, informed observers, and practitioners seeking historically grounded judgments on the key strategic issues of our time.—Eric Edelman, former U.S. Ambassador to Finland (Clinton) and to Turkey (Bush II), and Undersecretary of Defense for Policy