The Lessons of Tragedy: Statecraft and World Order

The Lessons of Tragedy: Statecraft and World Order

by Hal Brands, Charles Edel


$22.50 $25.00 Save 10% Current price is $22.5, Original price is $25. You Save 10%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Monday, October 21


An eloquent call to draw on the lessons of the past to address current threats to international order

The ancient Greeks hard‑wired a tragic sensibility into their culture. By looking disaster squarely in the face, by understanding just how badly things could spiral out of control, they sought to create a communal sense of responsibility and courage—to spur citizens and their leaders to take the difficult actions necessary to avert such a fate. Today, after more than seventy years of great‑power peace and a quarter‑century of unrivaled global leadership, Americans have lost their sense of tragedy. They have forgotten that the descent into violence and war has been all too common throughout human history. This amnesia has become most pronounced just as Americans and the global order they created are coming under graver threat than at any time in decades.

In a forceful argument that brims with historical sensibility and policy insights, two distinguished historians argue that a tragic sensibility is necessary if America and its allies are to address the dangers that menace the international order today. Tragedy may be commonplace, Brands and Edel argue, but it is not inevitable—so long as we regain an appreciation of the world’s tragic nature before it is too late.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300238242
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 02/26/2019
Pages: 216
Sales rank: 168,232
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Hal Brands is the Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor of Global Affairs in the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University. He is the author and editor of several books on the Cold War, U.S. foreign policy, and statecraft. Previously, he taught at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University and was an International Affairs Fellow for the Council on Foreign Relations. Professor Brands received his Ph.D. from Yale University and his B.A. from Stanford University.
Charles Edel is a Senior Fellow and Visiting Scholar at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney.  Previously, he was an Associate Professor of Strategy and Policy at the U.S. Naval War College and served on the Secretary of STate's policy planning staff.  He is the author of Nation Builder: John Quincy Adams and the Grand Strategy of the Republic. Professor Edel holds a Ph.D. in History from Yale University and a B.A. in classics from Yale College.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

1 The Virtues of Tragedy 7

2 Tragedy as the Norm 22

3 Tragedy as Inspiration 41

4 The Great Escape 64

5 The Contemporary Amnesia 90

6 The Darkening Horizon 117

7 Rediscovering Tragedy 145

Notes 167

Index 193

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews