Alternatives: The United States Confronts the World

Book Info

  • Length: 182 pages
  • Trim size: 6" x 9"
  • Rights: World

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  • ISBN: 978-1-59451-067-0
  • Publish date: August 2004
  • List Price: $44.95
  • Your Price: $38.21


  • ISBN: 978-1-59451-066-3
  • Publish date: July 2004
  • List Price: $163.00
  • Your Price: $138.55

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  • ISBN: 978-1-61205-407-0
  • Publish date: January 2013
  • List Price: $163.00
  • Your Price: $138.55


Immanuel Wallerstein draws on a lifetime of study of long-term historical change to shed light in his newest book on the consequences of the recent, significant turn in US foreign and economic policies.

Alternatives shows how the U.S. has been in decline since the 1970s and how these longer trends dovetail with current Bush administration policies, which Wallerstein describes as an attempt to reverse the decline in ways that are disastrous to the future of the country and the world.

Wallerstein suggests that a threshold has been crossed that will make it difficult for future presidents to practice the kind of 'soft' multilateralism in foreign policy American presidents have used in the past. They will be less able to maintain effective alliances. Wallerstein also shows, surprisingly, why 'globalization' already is dead, especially in terms of the United States' ability to dominate economically in the manner that it has since WWII. He calls for a major revision of U.S. policies - and not an attempt merely to return to the pre-Bush foreign policy.

Wallerstein's visionary book speaks to the challenges the U.S. must face if it is to play a meaningful and progressive role in the world-system.

Author Info

Immanuel Wallerstein has been a Senior Research Scholar at Yale University since 2000, having taught previously at many distinguished universities. Among his many books, he is the author of the magisterial 4-volume work, The Modern World System. Volume IV is recently published.


"[A] most important and perceptive assessment of the political and economic future of the world. As always with Wallerstein's work, you do not have to agree with him to find him enormously thought-provoking."
--Goran Therborn, Director, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences, Uppsala

"More and more books on international relations are published every year. Only a few of them deserved to be remembered. Alternatives is one of those. It is a delight to have deep historical perspective used to explain recent events. ...Wallerstein shows that even in foreign affairs generosity, morality, cleverness, and realism are compatible."
--Pascal Boniface, Director of the Institute for International Relations and Strategy, Paris


To the Reader

PART I: Terrorism: The Bush Fiasco

PART II: Bush Encounters the World: Commentaries, 2001-2004

PART III: The Possible and the Desirable

About the Author

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