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After Bush


  • 1 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 396 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.75 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521880046)

The foreign policy of the George W. Bush administration has won few admirers, and many anticipate that his successor will repudiate the actions of the past eight years. In their provocative account Lynch and Singh argue that Bush's policy should be placed within the mainstream of the American foreign policy tradition. Further, they suggest that there will, and should, be continuity in US foreign policy from his presidency to those of his successors. Providing a positive audit of the war on terror (which they contend should be understood as a Second Cold War) they maintain that the Bush doctrine has been consistent with past policy at times of war and that the key elements of Bush's grand strategy will continue to shape America's approach in the future. Above all, they predict that his successors will pursue the war against Islamist terror with similar dedication.

• A fresh and provocative account of the foreign policy of the George W. Bush administration • Engages with the dominant historical interpretations on US foreign policy with a clear assessment of their strengths and weaknesses • Asks vital questions about what the next president's foreign policy will look like, arguing that it is unlikely to change, irrespective of which party wins the White House


Introduction: winning the Second Cold War; 1. Bush and the American foreign policy tradition; 2. The constitution of American national security; 3. The Second Cold War on Islamist terror: negative audits; 4. The Second Cold War on Islamist terror: a positive audit; 5. Iraq: Vietnam in the sand?; 6. The Middle East: reformation or Armageddon?; 7. Friends and foes after Bush; 8. The emerging consensus at home and abroad; Conclusion: the case for continuity.

Prize Winner

Richard E. Neustadt Book Prize 2009 - Joint winner


'Lynch and Singh make a compelling case that the Bush doctrine will outlast the current American president, and they assemble considerable evidence to show that fundamental components of the doctrine are consistent with foreign policy tradition. The authors skilfully depersonalize the debate about American foreign policy in order to move beyond the current obsession with George W. Bush.' Robert J. Lieber, Georgetown University

'Whatever one might think of the argument that the Bush Doctrine not only will but should survive the Bush presidency - and I, for one, strongly disagree - Lynch and Singh develop it cogently and with great vigor. An important contribution to the literature on American foreign policy.' Ivo Daalder, co-author of America Unbound: The Bush Revolution in Foreign Policy

'The common sense view - shared by the chattering classes around the world - is that Bush has failed, that the war on terror has been a disaster, and that the United States should return with all speed to the multilateral system it so unnecessarily abandoned some time during 2001. Here is a book that frontally challenges all these cosy assumptions. The world and the United States have changed for ever - it insists - and the sooner the rest of us get used to the fact the better. A provocative, trenchantly argued study, that leaves the reader with few places to hide.' Michael Cox, London School of Economics

'Timothy Lynch and Robert Singh do a fine job of defending the foreign policy approach of the George W. Bush administration. Deeply unfashionable and brilliantly polemical, After Bush will redefine the parameters of debate.' John Dumbrell, Durham University

'More compellingly than the Bush administration itself, Lynch and Singh argue that a Second Cold War is underway, this time against radical Islam. U.S. policies, they hold, must resemble those of the original Cold War. And American responses since 9/11 are sound and will endure. With panache, After Bush offers a well researched, original, and refreshing tonic to a truck-load of anti-Bush screeds.' Daniel Pipes, Director, Middle East Forum

'Outstanding: a worthy successor volume to Kagan's Dangerous Nation'. Brendan Simms, University of Cambridge

'Learned, judicious, and courageous - this study of the Bush foreign policy will continue to illuminate and explain long after today's philippics and polemics have been consigned to the back shelves. A uniquely valuable work.' David Frum, American Enterprise Institute

'After Bush is a serious, carefully researched and documented analysis of American policy in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Lynch and Singh demolish a great many of the dozens of myths and misconceptions that have become the conventional wisdom about the Bush administration's response to terrorism, the decision to go into Iraq and the thinking and influence of neoconservatives. It will take many more such books to balance the mountain of nonsense that has been piled up by ideologically driven academics and a huge flock of journalistic sheep. They should be congratulated for having made a start.' Richard Perle, American Enterprise Institute and Former Assistant Secretary of Defense

'This book is required reading for both defenders and critics of the current direction of American foreign policy. The authors make the provocative case that the policies of the Presidents to come will resemble those of the Bush administration, because Bush himself followed the historical traditions of America's approach to the world. On the other hand, the authors argue that a Second Cold War against Islamist terrorism has more in common with the first Cold War than many would like to think. This fascinating combination of foreign policy, strategy, and even constitutional law should cause readers to reconsider their fundamental positions.' John Yoo, UC Berkeley

'George W. Bush has joked that he only read one book at university. If he only reads one book in retirement, he might want it to be this one.' Today

'A systematic and thorough argument is presented by Timothy Lynch and Robert Singh …[the authors] make a strong case for why the right believes America should continue to shape foreign policy with the Bush doctrine …' The Tribune

'… [the authors] have given students of international relations an alternative to the virtual consensus which damns George Bush and his policy.' Contemporary Review

'After Bush by Timothy J. Lynch and Robert S. Singh is a well argued alternative to the rash of condemning works that presently seek to command attention, due to the veracity of its arguments, it will, unlike them, stand the test of time.' Open History

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