Cover: Shields of the Republic: The Triumph and Peril of America’s Alliances, from Harvard University PressCover: Shields of the Republic in HARDCOVER

Shields of the Republic

The Triumph and Peril of America’s Alliances

Add to Cart

Product Details


$27.95 • £22.95 • €25.00

ISBN 9780674982956

Publication Date: 06/09/2020


272 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

5 illus., 1 map, 2 tables


A learned rationale and blueprint for that reinvigoration of alliances. Rapp-Hooper takes on directly and convincingly the Trumpian critique that alliances are not worth the investment and have led the nation to fight other people’s battles for them… Her deep erudition, crisp prose style, and innate brilliance shine through on most every page.—Jeremy Shapiro, Boston Review

Despite enduring support among the U.S. public for the alliance system, President Donald Trump seems determined to upend it, as Mira Rapp-Hooper observes in her astute new book defending U.S. alliances… The threat of COVID-19 has bolstered her argument, making plain both the importance of the alliance system and the imperative to adapt alliances to new ends.—Sam Winter-Levy and Nikita Lalwani, Foreign Policy

Rapp-Hooper argues persuasively that the complex alliance system instituted after the devastation of World War II has proven remarkably successful… With Donald Trump’s active animosity toward our traditional allies, the author cautions about a glaring blind spot: rising nonmilitary coercion from China and Russia.Kirkus Reviews

For seventy years, alliances have been central to American foreign policy. Where did they come from and where are they going? Mira Rapp-Hooper gives smart answers to both the historical and future questions about our alliances.—Joseph S. Nye, Jr., author of Do Morals Matter? Presidents and Foreign Policy from FDR to Trump

Shields of the Republic will stand as the definitive study of US alliances, filling a scholarly gap at a time when America cannot afford to go it alone in an increasingly dangerous world.—Michael J. Green, former Senior Director for Asia, National Security Council

The precarity of America’s alliances is one of the central political issues confronting the United States today. Mira Rapp-Hooper has delivered the essential guide for understanding these complex partnerships. This is a masterful exposition of how alliances can both extend and restrain American power in these transformative times.—Kurt Campbell, cofounder and CEO of The Asia Group and former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs

Shields of the Republic is a must-read—an invaluable resource for exploring timely and thorny questions about the role of alliances in American foreign policy.—Elizabeth N. Saunders, author of Leaders at War: How Presidents Shape Military Interventions

Rapp-Hooper musters rock-solid evidence to demonstrate what policymakers have long believed: that America’s alliances are a remarkably effective foreign policy tool. Just as importantly, she gives an unambiguous account of why this system must be preserved and lays out a compelling plan for how to do so.—Stephen Hadley, Principal at RiceHadleyGates and former national security advisor

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Jacket: Atomic Doctors: Conscience and Complicity at the Dawn of the Nuclear Age, by James L. Nolan, Jr., from Harvard University Press

Remembering Hiroshima

On this day 75 years ago, the United States dropped the world’s first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. James L. Nolan Jr.’s grandfather was a doctor who participated in the Manhattan Project, and he writes about him in Atomic Doctors: Conscience and Complicity at the Dawn of the Nuclear Age, an unflinching examination of the moral and professional dilemmas faced by physicians who took part in the project. Below, please find the introduction to Nolan’s book. On the morning of June 17, 1945, Captain James F. Nolan, MD, boarded a plane