March 19, 2021
Power on the Precipice: The Six Choices America Faces in a Turbulent World
Clearly argued, lucidly written, and well-documented, Andrew Imbrie’s Power on the Precipice deserves a large audience, not just of foreign affairs specialists but also of those concerned about America’s place in the world and how to improve it. Imbrie is ambitious. In 205 printed pages (plus notes), he addresses diplomatic challenges that any Washington administration will face and suggests ways forward. In such a wide-ranging work, area experts will question some of his analysis and conclusions. Nevertheless, Imbrie should be applauded as he seeks to persuade policymakers and voters to think harder about different policy choices and tradeoffs from the optic of the long term rather than the short. Identifying national interests and how to promote them is always a challenge, but especially so in the United States, where the 24-hour news cycle is supreme. Elections every 2 years result in never-ending campaigning, and social media—with all its superficialities—has become a news source of choice for many, if not most.