The Icarus Syndrome: A History of American Hubris
Date: June 2010
Duration: 18 hours 24 minutes
"Peter Beinart has written a vivid, empathetic, and convincing history of the men and ideas that have shaped the ambitions of American foreign policy during the last century-a story in which human fallibility and idealism flow together. The story continues, of course, and so his book is not only timely; it is indispensable." - Steve Coll, author of Ghost Wars
Peter Beinart's provocative account of hubris in the American century describes Washington on the eve of three wars: World War I, Vietnam, and Iraq-three moments when American leaders decided they could remake the world in their image. Each time, leading intellectuals declared that the spread of democracy was inevitable. Each time, a president held the nation in the palm of his hand. And each time, a war conceived in arrogance brought tragedy.
But each catastrophe also imparted wisdom to a new generation of thinkers. These leaders learned to reconcile the American belief that anything is possible with the realities of a world that will never fully conform to this country's will-and in their struggles lie the seeds of American renewal today.