As Hillary’s presidential campaign gears up, we are on the point of a titanic shift in American’s role in the world.
Obama has had a sceptical approach to foreign policy, with the belief that more disasters are caused by doing too much than doing too little, whether in Vietnam or Iraq. But is that really good enough in the storm-tossed world of modern foreign relations? His critics have derided it as weak and reactive, and most importantly a retreat from American’s historic role as the world’s peacekeeper.
Among the harshest critics was Hillary Clinton, who went from arch-rival, to Obama’s loyal lieutenant and is now poised to succeed him. As Secretary of State, Hillary has been intimately involved in every major foreign-policy debate and will take a more muscular, interventionist view of America’s responsibilities in foreign affairs.
Weaving together these two approaches with portraits of the two most riveting figures in the world’s most powerful country, Mark Landler, White House correspondent for the New York Times for over six years, describes how this sea-change in American foreign power will define the next decade. This book, informed by many different one-to-one conversations and interviews with both Obama and Hillary, Air Force One gossip, and off-the-cuff policy pronouncements, paints this debate in engaging and personal terms. As such it’s essential reading for anyone seeking to understand either Obama’s legacy or Hillary’s promise, and outlines the core rivalry between two trailblazers who shared a common sense of their historical destiny, but have vitally different instincts about how to project American power in the world.