Cover: Zbigniew Brzezinski: America’s Grand Strategist, from Harvard University PressCover: Zbigniew Brzezinski in HARDCOVER

Zbigniew Brzezinski

America’s Grand Strategist

Product Details


$35.00 • £30.95 • €31.95

ISBN 9780674975637

Publication Date: 03/26/2018


544 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

25 halftones, 3 tables


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Reading Justin Vaïsse’s impressive new book, Zbigniew Brzezinski: America’s Grand Strategist, it is difficult to miss the echoes of our own times in the early 1970s… If the publication of Brzezinski could hardly be timelier, the author could not be more apt… The book’s achievement is in part corrective. Brzezinski rehabilitates a thinker and actor whom other writers have too often underestimated… Vaïsse’s broad panorama achieves important perspective on the Carter years… Readers will encounter in Brzezinski an eloquent introduction to a major strategic thinker and a thoughtful meditation upon the useful work that ideas and intellectuals can perform in the policy arena.—Daniel J. Sargent, The Washington Post

Vaïsse gives Brzezinski high marks. Apart from Kissinger, no adviser so dominated a president’s agenda. His intellect was as sharp as his tongue.—Edward Luce, Financial Times

Will probably stand for some time as the definitive portrayal of a sharp mind and sometimes sharp tongue that attracted critics and opponents, as well as admirers and such famous proteges and colleagues as Madeleine Albright and Robert Gates… What separates the Vaïsse book from the pack is a detailed and perceptive study of the rise of an academic complex in the making of U.S. foreign policy.—Michael D. Mosettig, PBS NewsHour

Vaïsse’s biography of U.S. President Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, reminds readers just what an extraordinary phenomenon this Polish outsider was… Vaïsse’s evenhanded appraisal of Brzezinski’s contributions to U.S. foreign policy will…introduce a new generation of readers to a great American strategist.—Walter Russell Mead, Foreign Affairs

In his compelling biography of Brzezinski, Justin Vaïsse places [him] squarely in the fourth generation of decision-makers who helped turn the United States into a world power.—Christopher Coker, Literary Review

Brzezinski must have been pleased by what he knew of the work (first published in French shortly before his death). The readers, too, will be pleased. This is a solid account of Brzezinski’s absorbing journey.—Simon Serfaty, National Interest

This man with the unpronounceable name was one of the most influential in the world, but also one of the hardest to categorize… A foremost authority on U.S. foreign relations, Justin Vaïsse enthusiastically traces the extraordinary career of this son of a Polish consul. A captivating account of a decisive figure who navigated through deep political crosscurrents in order to extend American influence across the globe.L’Express

Justin Vaïsse’s life of Zbigniew Brzezinski is remarkable in every way. More than a simple biography, this serious study is an original and meticulous account of the American diplomatic machine.—

A specialist in American foreign relations, Vaïsse offers a voluminous biography of a man he considers one of the most consequential figures of the past century.Le Point

This first-rate intellectual biography of Zbigniew Brzezinski fills a longstanding gap in existing work on one of America’s most visible yet undervalued scholar-policymakers of the past fifty years. Nuanced and on the whole convincing, this book provides an excellent overview of the impact Brzezinski had after his relatively brief time in high office.—Jussi Hanhimäki, author of The Flawed Architect: Henry Kissinger and American Foreign Policy

Vaïsse profiles one of the few men who transformed American foreign policy in the second half of the twentieth century. He offers a compelling account of how immigration, education, and technology changed American power and ideals. He also reminds us how important the intellectual debates about power and ideals were during the Cold War, and how important they remain today.—Jeremi Suri, author of The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America’s Highest Office

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