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Invincible Ignorance in American Foreign Policy: The Triumph of Ideology over Evidence

Invincible Ignorance in American Foreign Policy: The Triumph of Ideology over Evidence (Paperback)

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Synopsis

This book is a review of major post-World War II American foreign policy decisions made by authorities who were blinded by ideology. In each of the nine situations examined, accurate evidence was available and even known to many of the decision makers, but chauvinism, anti-Communism, or willful left-wing or right-wing ideological predilections carried the day. In the preface, Newman takes as his guiding light the words of Corey Robin: "The twentieth century, it's said, taught us a simple lesson about politics: of all the motivations for political action, none is as lethal as ideology. The lust for money may be distasteful, the desire for power ignoble, but neither will drive its devotees to the criminal excess of an idea on the march." The analytical-critical essays comprising this volume sweep across the post-war period, from the Hiroshima decision through Bush and Iraq. Government documents, scholarly analyses, and Newman's own acerbic arguments both entertain and inform readers.

Robert P. Newman completed a BA at the University of Redlands, was a MacLeish Scholar at the University of Chicago's Divinity School, earned both bachelor's and master's degrees in politics, philosophy and economics at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and was granted a PhD from the University of Connecticut. He spent most of his career at the University of Pittsburgh. His eight books on debate and evidence, recognition of Communist China, Cold War controversies over government figures, Truman and the Hiroshima cult, the Enola Gay controversy, and now American foreign policy since World War II earned scholarly awards from the National Communication Association and Gustav Myers Center as well as Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, and Los Angeles Times Book Prize nominations. David Deifell (PhD, The University of Iowa) is an Associate Professor at Ashford University, Clinton, Iowa. Deifell has taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Puget Sound, Drake University, Appalachian State University, Lees-McRae College, and East Tennessee State University and has worked actively with Amnesty International and Students Against Sweatshops. His dissertation was on educational discourses and student movement rhetoric. Deifell's scholarship can be found in Communication Teacher and South Atlantic Philosophy of Education Yearbook. His current projects involve political communication, critical/cultural studies, historiography, communication pedagogy, and rhetorical criticism.

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