Dictatorships and Double Standards
Rationalism and Reason in Politics

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    Dictatorships and Double Standards
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  • 270 Paperback pages
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With Dictatorships and Double Standards, U.N. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick demonstrates what has made her one of the most influential political commentators of our time. For over two decades she has written extensively on both the international and domestic political scene, arguing forcefully and persuasively that in modern politics the rationalist spirit has, with dangerous effect, played too strong a role. In its rigid adherence to utopian ideals of human behavior and social processes, excessive rationalism has wrought havoc upon U.S. policy both at home and abroad and, Ambassador Kirkpatrick believes, has contributed to delivering numerous nations to the nightmare of totalitarian rule. In this volume of her finest work, Ambassador Kirkpatrick shows just how that spirit of rationalism, in all its manifestations, operates today. Whether her subject is U.S. policy toward our allies, or the nature of totalitarian thought, or the problems of party reform, she writes with clarity and insight in a series of essays that together represent a comprehensive statement of principles by the most powerful woman in American government today.

On foreign affairs, Ambassador Kirkpatrick opens with the brilliant title essay which first brought her to the attention of President Reagan and which led to her appointment as Permanent Representative to the United Nations and a member of the Reagan Cabinet. After discussing how American utopian diplomatic thinking has led us to destabilize friendly authoritiarian regimes only to find them rpelaced by unfriendly totalitarians, she criticizes the moralism of so much of our foreign policy, and then offers a profound analysis of the language and culture of totalitarianism.

Rationalism, utopianism, moralism--Ambassador Kirkpatrick's elegant case against these confusions in contemporary politics makes Dictatorships and Double Standards a major achievement which is sure to have a powerful impact upon American political thought for some time to come.

Jeane J. Kirkpatrick is a senior fellow at AEI.

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