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Extended Audio Sample Of Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order Audiobook, by Robert Kagan Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (514 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Robert Kagan Narrator: Robertson Dean Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2004 ISBN: 9780739308585
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From a leading scholar of our country’s foreign policy, the brilliant essay about America and the world that has caused a storm in international circles now expanded into book form.

European leaders, increasingly disturbed by U.S. policy and actions abroad, feel they are headed for what the New York Times (July 21, 2002) describes as a “moment of truth.” After years of mutual resentment and tension, there is a sudden recognition that the real interests of America and its allies are diverging sharply and that the trans-atlantic relationship itself has changed, possibly irreversibly. Europe sees the United States as high-handed, unilateralist, and unnecessarily belligerent; the United States sees Europe as spent, unserious, and weak. The anger and mistrust on both sides are hardening into incomprehension.

This past summer, in Policy Review, Robert Kagan reached incisively into this impasse to force both sides to see themselves through the eyes of the other. Tracing the widely differing histories of Europe and America since the end of World War II, he makes clear how for one the need to escape a bloody past has led to a new set of transnational beliefs about power and threat, while the other has perforce evolved into the guarantor of that “postmodern paradise” by dint of its might and global reach. This remarkable analysis is being discussed from Washington to Paris to Tokyo. It is esssential reading.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Brilliant. Francis Fukuyama
  • This refreshing essay results from careful thought combined with critical information. Read it and you will think more deeply about this important arena. George P. Schultz
    Distinguished fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University
    U.S. Secretary of State from 1982-1989.
  • Anyone looking for an intellectual primer to explain the geopolitical forces at work in the Iraqi conflict should order a copy of Robert Kagan’s book, Of Paradise and Power. Dominic Lawson, Sunday Telegraph

  • No academic piece in this realm has generated quite as much heat and interest since Samuel Huntington’s ‘Clash of Civilizations’ article in 1993 or Francis Fukuyama’s ‘End of History’ in 1989. Francois Heisbourg, New York Times
  • “The most controversial big-think essay of the season. Jay Tolson, U.S. News + World Report
  • “Come the hour, come the book . . . Kagan’s book is neither a diatribe nor a polemic. It is a penetrating effort to shed some light on the confusion in transatlantic affairs and to understand why Americans and Europeans are so frequently talking past each other . . . As an effort to crystallise an important moment in history and to provoke a fuller comprehension of contemporary international relations, Of Paradise and Power ranks with Frank Fukuyama’s The End of History and Sam Huntington’s The Clash of Civilizations. Raymond Seitz, The Times (London)
  • Cogent and important…This book deserves to be read by all conscientious citizens. Booklist
  • “One of America’s finest commentators on issues of foreign policy. He writes elegantly, has an excellent command of history and consistently demonstrates superior intelligence and insight. He ranks . . . among analysts whose work must be read. And the appearance of this book could not have been more timely, as ‘old Europe’ and the United States diverge. Warren I. Cohen, Los Angeles Times
  • His essay [has] the foreign policy establishment humming from Washington to Tokyo…It is being called the new ‘X’ article (George F. Kennan, using the pseudonym ‘X’ in the July 1947 issue of Foreign Affairs, conceptualized the Cold War policy of containment). Lorraine Adams, The Washington Post
  • Bob Kagan's provocative and thoughtful essay is required reading for everyone concerned about the future of trans-Atlantic relations. Ever controversial, Kagan's critical contribution to understanding American and European views of world order will be discussed and debated for years to come. Although not everyone will agree with Kagan's analysis, readers will benefit from its clarity, insight, and historical force. Senator John McCain
  • For its brilliant juxtaposition of strategy and philosophy, of the realities of power and the ethics of power, of the American ideal of justice and the European ideal of peace, Robert Kagan’s small book is a big book. Nothing like this has been written since the death of Raymond Aron. Leon Wieseltier
  • Though in the past we have often disagreed, I consider this essay one of those seminal treatises without which any discussion of European-American relations would be incomplete and which will shape that discussion for years to come. Dr. Henry Kissinger
  • No academic piece in this realm has generated quite as much heat and interest since Samuel Huntington’s ‘Clash of Civilizations’ article in 1993 or Francis Fukuyama’s ‘End of History’ in 1989. François Heisbourg, New York Times

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tracie | 2/11/2014

    " Audiobook. Excellent three hours spent learning how the US-European power relationship has evolved to present. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 My Pseudonym | 2/1/2014

    " A book basically comparing the size of America's dong to Europe's by a neocon crusader steeped in the blood of the Iraqi people. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 david evans | 1/27/2014

    " Very concise and persuasive -- our return to 19th century great power politics "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jose | 1/23/2014

    " interesting view...hobbesian vs. kantian thing...but seems to miss the point (in my opinion) that maybe we don't have to be hegemonic... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brook Finlayson | 1/18/2014

    " Excellent extended essay on what the US does not understand about comtemporary Europe and vice versa. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denise Derocher | 1/16/2014

    " I've been reading Robert Kagan for years, so was not surprised by the quality of this book - he never disappoints! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Richard Baker | 1/16/2014

    " A concise, lucid and compelling discussion of the positions of America and Europe in the international order, and the past and future of the relationship between them. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Will James | 1/8/2014

    " An excellent account of the diverging political courses of Kantian Europe and the Hobbesian United States. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robert | 12/24/2013

    " This book put the post WWII period of peace in Europe in historical perspective and made me understand that this was only possible because of the military power of the US. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aileen | 12/18/2013

    " I think this is a must read. Shows the cultural rift between America and Europe and the tools each uses for conflict resolution as a result of their histories... awesome & succint. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barry McCulloch | 12/5/2013

    " He makes some valid points, unfortunately. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dave | 10/26/2013

    " Perhaps a bit simplistic and overstated - but his general points/arguments are mostly convincing to me. The book is a quick read and serves as a great discussion starter and a good entry point into the subject. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ron Lubovich | 2/8/2013

    " Interesting thesis, but only if you subscribe to the philosophical idea that human activity doesn't change over time, the tools improve and the names just get changed. But still worth reading to know what neoconservatives believe. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matthew | 1/8/2013

    " I reread this one recently since it points out how little changes in our worldview regardless of which party holds political power at any given time. A very worthwhile read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cody Hill | 10/2/2012

    " Interesting hawkish read. Classic neo-con text. The preeminence of American power has sure worked out well for us when we tried exercising it didn't it Kagan? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Yonnibardavi | 8/8/2012

    " Donald Kagan explains why America and Europe views the world so differently. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kevin | 3/19/2012

    " I learned why Americans and Europeans live in different universes "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ben | 1/22/2012

    " Thorough analysis of why Europe and the US have had some philosophical differences with respect to international relations and the power balance during the 2000s. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Catherine Teh 陳婉然 | 9/22/2011

    " Made me understand more about the US & European perspectives and their rule within and across the globe. Politics --- Not my cup of tea though.... But worth reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rosewitha | 9/11/2011

    " In other word it's like when you read Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus, how US and Eroupe speak in different languages, never understand each other yet both are need for each other. Very interesting! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ike Sharpless | 5/13/2011

    " Yes, he's pretty much a neocon. And yes, this is a pugnaciously aggressive book. But the basic argument - that it's rational for both Europe and American to behave as if they live in posthistory and history, respective - is an important insight. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joshua | 4/15/2011

    " I must be a neocon, if such a thing exists. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jose | 2/2/2011

    " interesting view...hobbesian vs. kantian thing...but seems to miss the point (in my opinion) that maybe we don't have to be hegemonic... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robert | 7/10/2010

    " This book put the post WWII period of peace in Europe in historical perspective and made me understand that this was only possible because of the military power of the US. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 My | 5/22/2010

    " A book basically comparing the size of America's dong to Europe's. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dave | 2/7/2010

    " Perhaps a bit simplistic and overstated - but his general points/arguments are mostly convincing to me. The book is a quick read and serves as a great discussion starter and a good entry point into the subject. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tracie | 2/5/2010

    " Audiobook. Excellent three hours spent learning how the US-European power relationship has evolved to present. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Yonnibardavi | 12/16/2009

    " Donald Kagan explains why America and Europe views the world so differently. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matthew | 8/3/2009

    " I reread this one recently since it points out how little changes in our worldview regardless of which party holds political power at any given time. A very worthwhile read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joshua | 12/29/2008

    " I must be a neocon, if such a thing exists. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cody | 10/24/2008

    " Interesting hawkish read. Classic neo-con text. The preeminence of American power has sure worked out well for us when we tried exercising it didn't it Kagan? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 david | 9/2/2008

    " Very concise and persuasive -- our return to 19th century great power politics "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ben | 8/4/2008

    " Thorough analysis of why Europe and the US have had some philosophical differences with respect to international relations and the power balance during the 2000s. "

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About the Author
Author Robert KaganRobert Kagan is senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he is director of the U.S. Leadership Project. In addition to a monthly column in the Washington Post, he is the author of A Twilight Struggle: American Power and Nicaragua, 1977–1990 and coeditor, with William Kristol, of Present Dangers: Crisis and Opportunity in American Foreign and Defense Policy. Kagan served in the State Department from 1984 to 1988.
About the Narrator

Robertson Dean has played leading roles on and off Broadway and at dozens of regional theaters throughout the country. He has a BA from Tufts University and an MFA from Yale. His audiobook narration has garnered ten AudioFile Earphones Awards. He now lives in Los Angeles, where he works in film and television in addition to narrating.