Download Daydream Believers: How a Few Grand Ideas Wrecked American Power Audiobook

Daydream Believers: How a Few Grand Ideas Wrecked American Power Audiobook, by Fred Kaplan Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Fred Kaplan Narrator: Stefan Rudnicki Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2008 ISBN: 9781481566193
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (85 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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America’s power is in decline, its foreign policy adrift, its allies alienated, its soldiers trapped in a war that even generals regard as unwinnable. What has happened these past eight years is well known. Why it happened continues to puzzle. In Daydream Believers, celebrated Slate columnist Fred Kaplan combines in-depth reporting and razor-sharp analysis to explain just how George W. Bush and his aides got so far off track—and why much of the nation followed.

For eight years, Kaplan reminds us, the White House—and many of the nation’s podiums and opinion pages—rang out with appealing but deluded claims: that we live in a time like no other and that, therefore, the lessons of history no longer apply; that new technology has transformed warfare; that the world’s peoples will be set free, if only America topples their dictators; and that those who dispute such promises do so for partisan reasons. They thought they were visionaries, but they only had visions. And they believed in their daydreams.

Packed with stunning anecdotes, hidden history, and a level of insight only Fred Kaplan can bring to issues of national security, Daydream Believers tells a story whose understanding is central to getting America back on track and to finding leaders who can improve both the world and America’s position in it by seeing the world as it really is.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “What sets Mr. Kaplan’s Daydream Believers apart is his emphasis on the Bush administration’s failure to come to terms with a post–Cold War paradigm, which, he argues, left America’s power diminished, rather than enhanced, as former allies, liberated from the specter of the Soviet Union, felt increasingly free to depart from Washington’s directives. Also illuminating is his close analysis of the impact that the White House’s idees fixes had, not just on the Iraq war but also on other foreign policy problems like North Korea.”

    New York Times

  • “A lively and entertaining—if occasionally horrifying—read, it offers a cautionary tale for any administration and for the men and women who hope to serve in one…Even when the facts are familiar, Kaplan weaves these stories together in a way that highlights the often hidden connections between them. The result is an account of the pathologies not only of individuals and departments in the Bush administration, but also of Washington itself.”

    Washington Post

  • “Kaplan reveals how the Bush administrations’ idle fantasies have put the US in a more vulnerable position. Rudnicki’s deep, foreboding voice perfectly matches the tone of this book, giving the true gravitas of the situation.”

    Publishers Weekly (audio review)

  • “[Kaplan’s] detailed, illuminating accounts of the evolution of the Bush administration’s strategic doctrines add up to a cogent brief for soft realism over truculent idealism.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Carefully enumerates the many ways that this government has imposed its will on the rest of the world since 9/11…Rudnicki is utterly appropriate for such a foreboding text…his air of pomp and circumstance reminds one of Sebastian Cabot.”

    AudioFile

Listener Reviews

Write a Review
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marc | 9/15/2013

    " Opening line of book says what I have been saying too. The world did not change after 9/11. America was less naive about their vulnerability but not about their world-view. It details what can happen when religiously motivated zealots control the government of a belligerent power...sound familiar? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul | 9/3/2013

    " This book is a study of the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld foreign policy, but it also includes some interesting material on how modern technological advances both do and do not change modern warfare. I hope our next policy leaders are reading this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Harry | 8/30/2013

    " A must read for every neoconservative who thinks Bush and his cronies have been doing such a wonderful job... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 6/10/2013

    " 9/11 changed everything, or did it? 'W' was the victim of mistaken thinking about the real impact of the fall of the Soviet Union and the 9/11 attacks. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tom | 12/5/2012

    " I think we can do better "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barron | 12/20/2010

    " [I've marked this book down because Fred is a bit of an asshole.] "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Seán | 12/19/2010

    " Guess what? Team Bush = passel of dangerous idiots. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ray | 11/29/2010

    " Good insights into the decision making and policy choices made by President Bush and his Administration. I thought the author maintained a fair viewpoint, and the book was not as negative or biased as I might have guessed it would be, based on the title. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily | 10/2/2010

    " Kinda got boring after a while. I don't really even know why I read it haha "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Youndyc | 7/24/2010

    " A worthy read, but a discouraging topic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 1/30/2010

    " 9/11 changed everything, or did it? 'W' was the victim of mistaken thinking about the real impact of the fall of the Soviet Union and the 9/11 attacks. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 doug | 2/18/2009

    " An enlightening explanation of the Bush Administration's foreign and military policy as compared to that of previous administrations since the Cold War. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sean | 2/13/2009

    " Guess what? Team Bush = passel of dangerous idiots. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily | 12/22/2008

    " Kinda got boring after a while. I don't really even know why I read it haha "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ray | 9/9/2008

    " Good insights into the decision making and policy choices made by President Bush and his Administration. I thought the author maintained a fair viewpoint, and the book was not as negative or biased as I might have guessed it would be, based on the title. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul | 3/29/2008

    " This book is a study of the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld foreign policy, but it also includes some interesting material on how modern technological advances both do and do not change modern warfare. I hope our next policy leaders are reading this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Harry | 3/21/2008

    " A must read for every neoconservative who thinks Bush and his cronies have been doing such a wonderful job... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matthew | 3/15/2008

    " A very good round up of all of the failures brought to us courtesy of the Neo-Cons and the wonderful bush admin. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barron | 11/11/2007

    " [I've marked this book down because Fred is a bit of an asshole.] "

About the Author

Fred Kaplan is the national-security columnist for Slate and the author of six books, including the bestselling The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He has also written many articles on politics and culture for the New York Times, Washington Post, New York magazine, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, and other publications. He graduated from Oberlin College and has a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

About the Narrator

Scott Brick, an acclaimed voice artist, screenwriter, and actor, has performed on film, television, and radio. He attended UCLA and spent ten years in a traveling Shakespeare company. Passionate about the spoken word, he has narrated a wide variety of audiobooks. winning won more than fifty AudioFile Earphones Awards and several of the prestigious Audie Awards. He was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine and the Voice of Choice for 2016 by Booklist magazine.