Kissinger begins his masterpiece with a focus on America and it?s journey through international politics. He sees America as having two different approaches to foreign policy; One where America acts as a beacon, and the other where America acts as a missionary. This role was not chosen by America, just as the balance-of-power stance of Europe was not chosen by it. The roles were the result of each of their own history. Now there is an emerging new world order that is marked by a contradiction of fragmentation and globalization. Kissinger points out that all the major nations are facing a new world order within a multistate system in which they have had no experience. America for one, must reconcile its differing values and historical experiences to adjust to the new world order. Kissinger concludes this chapter by expressing the differences between the analysts of the international system and the statesmen, saying that the real burden rests on the statesmen?s shoulders.
In the second chapter, Kissinger studies two American presidents: Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. On the one hand, Roosevelt believed America?s national interest and a global balance of power demanded an international role of America. On the other hand, Wilson justified an international role as an obligation to spread America?s values. Roosevelt was the first president to really go global, ironically by invoking the Monroe Doctrine: the same doctrine that asserted America?s isolationist stance. Roosevelt?s position of might and self (national) interest failed to convince his people of the need to fight in WWI. Wilson, however, moved his people to war by proclaiming it?s cause to be none other than spreading American ideals and by his view that freedom for America was no different from freedom for the world. One of Kissinger?s most thought provoking lines in this chapter is his statement that Roosevelt was ? the warrior-statesman; Wilson was the prophet-priest. Statesmen?focus on the...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document