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, 280 pages

8 b&w illus.

June 2013



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The Strategy and Statecraft of Zbigniew Brzezinski

Zbigniew Brzezinski’s multifaceted career dealing with U.S. security and foreign policy has led him from the halls of academia to multiple terms in public service, including a stint as President Carter’s National Security Advisor from 1977 to 1981. He is a renowned policy analyst and author who frequently appears as a commentator on popular talk shows, including MSNBC's Morning Joe and PBS's NewsHour. Brzezinski’s strategic vision continues to carry a great deal of gravitas. This analysis of Brzezinski’s statecraft will be of interest not only to the general public but also to students as well as policy makers in the United States and throughout the world.

To assess the ramifications of Brzezinski’s engagement in world politics and policy making, Charles Gati has enlisted many of the top foreign policy players of the past thirty years to reflect on and analyze the man and his work. A senior scholar in Eastern European and Russian studies, Gati observed firsthand much of the history and politics surrounding Brzezinski’s career. His vibrant introduction and concluding one-on-one interview with Brzezinski lucidly frame the book's critical assessment of this major statesman’s accomplishments.


Justin Vaïsse, David C. Engerman, Mark Kramer, David Rothkopf, Warren I. Cohen and Nancy Bernkopf Tucker, Robert A. Pastor, William B. Quandt, Robert Hunter, James Thomson, Patrick Vaughan, Marin Strmecki, James Mann, David Ignatius, Adam Garfinkle, Stephen F. Szabo, Francis Fukuyama, Charles Gati

Charles Gati is a senior fellow in The Foreign Policy Institute and a professorial lecturer of Russian and Eurasian Studies at The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). His books include Failed Illusions: Moscow, Washington, Budapest, and the 1956 Hungarian Revolt and The Bloc That Failed: Soviet–East European Relations in Transition.

" Zbig is an informative and challenging introduction to Zbigniew Brzezinski... For armchair enthusiasts and those struggling to unravel the complicated issues of international affairs and foreign policy, Zbig is a good place to start."

"This biography tells us a lot not just about Zbig but about America’s own checkered history in Brzezinski’s lifetime."

"Will fill a gap on Brzezinski in serious political science collections."

"A highly readable volume of reflections on the legendary Cole Warrior by academics, journalists and Brzezinski's colleagues that nonetheless avoids the dryness of a classical academic tract... A welcome addition to the field of political science, simultaneously being a portrait of a complex, intellectually rigorous, and self-confident Polish-American academic and national security advisor in the Carter administration, as well as a reflection upon American foreign policy in the post-war era."

"Captures his extraordinary insights into international politics as well as his commitment to a morally inspired political realism. It will be read with great satisfaction... The editor and the contributors ought to be commended for their superb accomplishment."

"Part biography, personal reflection, history, and policy analysis, this expertly compiled book provides a fascinating insight into the private and public worlds of one of the foremost architects of American foreign policy in the twentieth century, and indeed today... This is no small achievement, as the book is easily one of the best retrospectives of a public figure in recent years... Gati's lengthy and detailed interview with Brzezinski (a recollection of sorts) permits the reader the direct insight of the man himself following the various accounts of the contributors. It's an exceptional feature in what otherwise would still have been a first-rate profile... The book is easy to return to, and hard to put down... Skillfully edited, relentlessly referenced, and well composed, this should be essential reading for any observer (academic or otherwise) of American politics and foreign policy."

"Charles Gati has done a service to scholars and to all who are interested in U.S. foreign policy. Zbig is both a long overdue tribute and a comprehensive, balanced, and much-needed study of Dr. Brzezinski's extraordinary career."

"Zbig Brzezinski's influence on American foreign policy—as a practitioner, adviser, writer, teacher—has been consistently pointed, with a sharp analytical edge, and directed to the heart of the matter. Whether or not one agrees with Zbig, he is always worth listening to. This excellent collection of original essays reflects his own rigorous but sometimes puckish spirit. It captures the range and zest of a man who has been one of the great contributors to U.S. foreign policy for almost half a century. Like the man, Zbig offers both history and insights for the future."

"Potentially quite important. I especially like the division into sections that capture the different dimensions and phases of Brzezinski's career—from academic to policy maker to policy advocate—and concluding with a series of portraits of Brzezinski by those who worked with him."

"There is no sharper, clearer, more strategic thinker alive today than Zbig Brzezinski. This fascinating book brings that label to life, adding color, depth, personality and values to his incisive mind. It is history, biography, and very nearly a how-to book on thinking strategically."

"An excellent—and never done before—study of Brzezinski and his intellectual and policy decisions over the course of more than 50 years of American foreign policy. It is well organized, well written, thought-provoking, and adds a lot of information."

" Zbig: The Strategy and Statecraft of Zbigniew Brzezinski is a valuable contribution to the field of U.S. foreign policy history since 1945 because of Zbig the intellectual, the policy-maker, and the commentator... Brzezinski's role as a Cold War scholar and intellectual, the descriptions of how it was to work (and study) under him, and his elder statesmanship as delineated in Zbig add to the study of not only Zbig himself but U.S. foreign relations in general."

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