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Suggested Reading

Ambrose, Stephen E., and Douglas G. Brinkley. Rise to Globalism: American Foreign Policy Since 1938. 8th rev. ed. New York: Penguin, 1997.

This extremely readable book chronicles the emergence of the United States as a superpower after World War II.

Hoge, James F., Jr., and Gideon Rose. How Did This Happen? Terrorism and the New War. New York: Public Affairs, 2001.

This collection of essays seeks to understand the rise of terrorism by Islamic fundamentalists from a multiplicity of perspectives.

Nye, Joseph. The Paradox of American Power: Why the World’s Only Superpower Can’t Go It Alone. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Nye argues that despite America’s preeminent place in the world, it must adopt a multilateral approach to achieve its goals.

Rashid, Ahmed. Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil, and Fundamentalism in Central Asia. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2001.

Rashid, a reporter who spent a great deal of time in Afghanistan, explores the origins of Islamic fundamentalism and theorizes about its relationship to the United States.

Useful Websites


The Brookings Institution is one of the best-known think tanks. Its scholars conduct research on a variety of policy areas, including foreign policy.


The Council on Foreign Relations has served as an unofficial think tank of the American foreign policy establishment for decades. Many top diplomats are also members of CFR.


The website of the Central Intelligence Agency, the U.S. government’s leading intelligence agency.


The homepage of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, which aims to promote global security and prosperity through in-depth research on international affairs.


Another major player in the foreign policy process is the Defense Department.


The website for the Global Affairs Agenda, an interest group that promotes a progressive foreign policy.


The main website for the United States Intelligence Community (IC), the nonpartisan umbrella organization to which various departments and agencies, such as Navy Intelligence and the Defense Intelligence Agency, belong.


The U.S. State Department is the primary agency in conducting foreign policy. Its website provides a wealth of information about what it does.


The nonpartisan United States Institute of Peace promotes policies that encourage peace. Its website has links to briefings about violent hot spots worldwide.

Popular pages: Foreign Policy