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The Grand Chessboard


As the twentieth century draws to a close, the United States has emerged as the worlds 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 nations 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 Brzezinskis 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 globes population, natural resources, and economic activity. Stretching from Portugal to the Bering Strait, from Lapland to Malaysia, Eurasia is the grand chessboard on which Americas 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 Brzezinskis analysis of the four critical regions of Eurasia and of the stakes for America in each arenaEurope, 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.

  • Why NATO 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 lastand what the implications are for Americas legacy.
  • Brzezinskis surprising and original conclusions often turn conventional wisdom on its head as he lays the groundwork for a new and compelling vision of Americas vital interests. Once, again, Zbigniew Brzezinski provides our nation with a philosophical and practical guide for maintaining and managing our hard-won global power.


    [Brzezinskis] analysis of East Asian realities and of the complicated U.S.-China-Japan relationship is lucid and constructive and a joy to read.

    Los Angeles Times

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    Tags: Grand, Chessboard, forAmerican, preeminence, vision