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Hard Line:
The Republican Party and U.S. Foreign Policy since World War II
Colin Dueck

Paperback | 2010 | $35.00 | £27.95 | ISBN: 9780691141824
400 pp. | 6 x 9 1/4
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Hard Line traces the history of Republican Party foreign policy since World War II by focusing on the conservative leaders who shaped it. Colin Dueck closely examines the political careers and foreign-policy legacies of Robert Taft, Dwight Eisenhower, Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush. He shows how Republicans shifted away from isolationism in the years leading up to World War II and oscillated between realism and idealism during and after the cold war. Yet despite these changes, Dueck argues, conservative foreign policy has been characterized by a hawkish and intense American nationalism, and presidential leadership has been the driving force behind it.

What does the future hold for Republican foreign policy? Hard Line demonstrates that the answer depends on who becomes the next Republican president. Dueck challenges the popular notion that Republican foreign policy today is beholden to economic interests or neoconservative intellectuals. He shows how Republican presidents have been granted remarkably wide leeway to define their party's foreign policy in the past, and how the future of conservative foreign policy will depend on whether the next Republican president exercises the prudence, pragmatism, and care needed to implement hawkish foreign policies skillfully and successfully. Hard Line reveals how most Republican presidents since World War II have done just that, and how their accomplishments can help guide future conservative presidents.


"In Hard Line, a masterful account of the evolution of Republican foreign policy over the last 70 years, Colin Dueck identifies several historical factions within the Republican party: the isolationists, who are heirs to Sen. Robert Taft; the realists, who continue the approach best-identified with the presidency of Richard Nixon; and the hawks and nationalists, who acquired greater prominence in the Reagan years and were best-represented in the administration of George W. Bush."--Nikolas K. Gvosdev, World Politics Review

"Colin Dueck's thorough analysis of the foreign-policy views of Republican political leaders since World War II has two aspects. As history, it is informative, objective, and broadly useful. . . . He presents a careful, detailed policy analysis of Republican presidents starting with Eisenhower, and includes leaders like Goldwater and Taft who significantly shaped party thinking even without the Oval Office. . . . [A]s we enter another presidential season, it is worth remembering Dueck's central insight about the importance of presidential discretion in shaping foreign policy."--John Bolton, former U.S. representative to the United Nations, National Review

"[W]hat a remarkable job of historical synthesis this work embodies. I have hurriedly added large sections of it to my class in the politics of US foreign policy and am sure many other teachers will do likewise."--Timothy J. Lynch, H-Diplo ISSF Roundtable Reviews

"Dueck has written a book that combines solid scholarship with an explicitly political message. . . . [A] thoughtful, well-informed, nuanced, and highly readable analysis."--Choice

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Table of Contents:

Acknowledgments vii
Introduction Conservative Traditions in U.S. Foreign Policy 1
Chapter One: Republicans, Conservatives, and U.S. Foreign Policy 11
Chapter Two: Robert Taft
The Conservative as Anti- Interventionist 39
Chapter Three: Dwight Eisenhower
The Conservative as Balancer 85
Chapter Four: Barry Goldwater
The Conservative as Hawk 117
Chapter Five: Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger
Realists as Conservatives 142
Chapter Six: Ronald Reagan
The Idealist as Hawk 187
Chapter Seven: George H. W. Bush
The Conservative as Realist 232
Chapter Eight: George W. Bush
The Nationalist as Interventionist 265
Conclusion: Republicans and U.S. Foreign Policy in the Age of Obama 290
Notes 323
Index 359

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