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America in the World 2020 - Great Decisions Special Edition

Publication Date:
September 04, 2020
Item #:


Please note: This is not the 2021 edition of Great Decisions, it is a special edition for 2020. 
During the 2016 American presidential election, charges were leveled that foreign policy had become the preserve of specialized elites removed from the concerns of Americans outside the Beltway and Wall Street. Yet since 1918 the Foreign Policy Association and since 1919 the Hoover Institution have been at the forefront of encouraging informed public debate on vital international issues through dissemination of relevant and timely scholarship. We are delighted that FPA and Hoover have come together at this crucial juncture to stimulate public discussion over the path forward for America in a troubled world. Order your copy today.
“In the winter of 2019-2020, the COVID-19 pandemic emerged from China as an exponentially growing infection
of a human population with no immunity. Within weeks, major sectors of the global economy collapsed. The
number of deaths and the economic impact varied greatly across countries. A country’s cultural cohesion and the
competence of its leaders were key determinants of the outcome.”
Lucy Shapiro and Harley McAdams, Stanford University
“The world is now engaged in what legitimately can be called the Third World War. It was not what strategists
had imagined decades ago. World War III was long expected by national security experts to be a military event
involving major super-powers. It turns out it was triggered by a small virus and has involved virtually all nations
—producing major casualties around the world. This pandemic could have been prevented, or well controlled, but
those who warned us were ignored.”
Robert D. Hormats, Tiedemann Advisors
“By every available metric, the United States has failed in its management of the Covid-19 crisis. Our infection rate
is among the highest in the world and our total number of cases and deaths tops them all. The pandemic exploited
the greatest weaknesses in America today: our lack of strong leadership, our fragmented governance and public
health structures, and our growing social divisions.”
William A. Haseltine, Access Health International
“Even though the COVID-19 pandemic rages in the United States and the wider world, it is not too early to
ask how America should best deal with the full range of future catastrophes that threaten us. That includes not
just public health crises, but also massive hurricanes and flooding, earthquakes, cyberattacks, conventional
terrorism, bioterrorism, radiation and chemical calamities, financial meltdowns, and the existential challenge
of climate change. The focus of this paper is on building a stronger domestic capacity to deal with mega-disasters.
However, that capability is also a prerequisite for the extensive international role that America must play.
Jefferey E. Garten, Yale University