As the twentieth century draws to a close, the United States has
emerged as the world’s only superpower: no other nation possesses
comparable military and economic power or has interests that bestride
the globe. Yet the critical question facing America remains unanswered:
What should be the nation’s global strategy for maintaining its
exceptional position in the world? Zbigniew Brzezinski tackles this
question head-on in this incisive and pathbreaking book.
The Grand Chessboard presents Brzezinski’s bold and provocative
geostrategic vision for American preeminence in the twenty-first
century. Central to his analysis is the exercise of power on the
Eurasian landmass, which is home to the greatest part of the globe’s
population, natural resources, and economic activity. Stretching from
Portugal to the Bering Strait, from Lapland to Malaysia, Eurasia is the
”grand chessboard” on which America’s supremacy will be ratified and
challenged in the years to come. The task facing the United States, he
argues, is to manage the conflicts and relationships in Europe, Asia,
and the Middle East so that no rival superpower arises to threaten our
interests or our well-being.
The heart of
The Grand Chessboard is Brzezinski’s analysis of
the four critical regions of Eurasia and of the stakes for America in
each arena—Europe, Russia, Central Asia, and East Asia. The crucial
fault lines may seem familiar, but the implosion of the Soviet Union
has created new rivalries and new relationships, and Brzezinski maps
out the strategic ramifications of the new geopolitical realities. He
explains, for example:Why France and Germany will play pivotal
geostrategic roles, whereas Britain and Japan will not.
expansion offers Russia the chance to undo the mistakes of the past,
and why Russia cannot afford to toss this opportunity aside.
Why the fate of Ukraine and Azerbaijan are so important to America.
Why viewing China as a menace is likely to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Why America is not only the first truly global superpower but also the last—and what the implications are for America’s legacy.
surprising and original conclusions often turn conventional wisdom on
its head as he lays the groundwork for a new and compelling vision of
America’s vital interests. Once, again, Zbigniew Brzezinski provides
our nation with a philosophical and practical guide for maintaining and
managing our hard-won global power.
“[Brzezinski’s] analysis of East Asian realities and of the
complicated U.S.-China-Japan relationship is lucid and constructive and
a joy to read.”