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The Jungle Grows Back

America and Our Imperiled World
Written by: Robert Kagan
Narrated by: Jason Culp
Length: 5 hrs and 44 mins
Categories: History, World
4.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"An incisive, elegantly written, new book about America’s unique role in the world." (Tom Friedman, The New York Times)

A brilliant and visionary argument for America's role as an enforcer of peace and order throughout the world - and what is likely to happen if we withdraw and focus our attention inward.

Recent years have brought deeply disturbing developments around the globe. American sentiment seems to be leaning increasingly toward withdrawal in the face of such disarray. In this powerful, urgent essay, Robert Kagan elucidates the reasons why American withdrawal would be the worst possible response, based as it is on a fundamental and dangerous misreading of the world. 

Like a jungle that keeps growing back after being cut down, the world has always been full of dangerous actors who, left unchecked, possess the desire and ability to make things worse. Kagan makes clear how the "realist" impulse to recognize our limitations and focus on our failures misunderstands the essential role America has played for decades in keeping the world's worst instability in check. A true realism, he argues, is based on the understanding that the historical norm has always been toward chaos - that the jungle will grow back, if we let it. 

©2018 Robert Kagan (P)2018 Random House Audio

What the critics say

"A devastating riposte to [Trump's] careless, cynical and destructive approach to diplomacy.... [Kagan] is right to detect a crisis of confidence in the democratic world. He sets out his case with characteristic brilliance and conviction." (The Economist)

"[S]o important... In clear and forceful language, [The Jungle Grows Back] makes the case for America continuing its role as the guarantor of a liberal world order." (Eli Lake, Bloomberg)

"The Jungle Grows Back displays the characteristic Kagan virtues of lucid writing and thought - and a strong sense of history that adds drama and sweep to his argument." (Gideon Rachman, The Financial Times)

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  • Ben
  • 2019-08-03

must read

if you are concerned a out the future of the international order. I was skeptical of Kagan before but he has really hit the nail on the head with this one

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Hiram A.
  • 2019-05-04

History of US foreign policy for dummies

This is a quick read, but it was tremendously edicational for someone like me who knew little to nothing about the history of American foreign policy. This book helps explain how the current world order came to be and the differing schools of thought that the US has to consider when figuring out its role in the geopolitical landscape of today.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Icarus
  • 2019-03-30

Balanced and thought-provoking

This is quite a considered narrative of the current state of geopolitics which also provides deep insights into the decades preceding WW2.
This audiobook has opened my eyes to the pivot role America has played in securing a prosperous second-half Twentieth century.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • capinsano
  • 2019-01-26

The Jungle does Grow Back

This is an important look at the state of the world order under which we all live. is a historical informed view that everyone should read/hear.

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  • Cliente de Kindle
  • 2018-11-29

Evidence based history

Helps to understand how everything in conflict during all human history relates to every nation and Kingdom, describes how our sinful nature corrupts even free societies into lawleness and disorder that lead to conflicts and wars. When justice don't act then chaos reigns.

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  • David
  • 2018-11-13

First Rate But Out of Date

I give this book four stars and recommend it to everyone. However, I offer the following comments as reservations because the author seems to have let his feelings get the better of him concerning recent events.

First, I am a Trumpster and resent being called a white nationalist. True, the wording was lawyerly: 'Trump and his white nationalist supporters' but I prefer deplorables. In addition, I do not remember Trump ever calling for trade victories. Such a representation requires the author to believe either that trade is now fair or in some other way worth the cost. I believe the author holds the second view.

The author also worries over the constitution. I remind him it was a federal judge in Hawaii who unconstitutionally seized American immigration policy (Trump was upheld by SCOTUS). Further, the author seems indifferent to the de-industrialization of the Great Lakes Region. People living in WI, MI, OH, and PA were not. Perhaps the author is a 'global cosmopolitan' who routinely flies over WI, MI, OH, and PA? Just asking.

Incidentally, Islam is incompatible with democracy. Read the Koran then read the new testament one right after the only. Finally, immigration would be less an issue if I did not suspect Democrats wish to import illegals to provide a fresh tranche of natural born citizen Democrats. And remember it was Cesar Chavez who coined the term wetbacks, not white men.

5 of 21 people found this review helpful