Magazine December 22, 2014, Issue

Strong from the Beginning

Nation Builder: John Quincy Adams and the Grand Strategy of the Republic, by Charles N. Edel (Harvard, 432 pp., $29.95)

In his 2004 book Surprise, Security, and the American Experience, John Lewis Gaddis called John Quincy Adams “the most influential American grand strategist of the 19th century.” Charles Edel, a professor at my former institution, the U.S. Naval War College, fleshes out Gaddis’s argument in this remarkable new work. Edel has written a book I wish I had written: a dual biography, of Adams and of the early American republic.

John Quincy Adams was one of the most remarkable men ever to engage in the public life of the republic. The son of John and Abigail Adams, John Quincy served as

Mackubin Thomas Owens is senior national security fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) in Philadelphia, editing its journal Orbis from 2008 to 2020. A Marine Corps infantry veteran of the Vietnam War, he was a professor of national-security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College from 1987 to 2015. He is the author of US Civil–Military Relations after 9/11: Renegotiating the Civil-Military Bargain.

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

The New Overseer

In October of 1990, Senator Alan Simpson, the Republican whip, emerged from an all-night negotiating session with his House counterparts on a series of clean-air regulations. What insights had he ...
Politics & Policy

Five Kinds of Diversity

Recently, Students for Fair Admissions, a new nonprofit organization, filed a lawsuit alleging that Harvard University discriminates against Asian-American applicants. Every year, Harvard admits roughly the same proportion of white, ...

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

High Culture vs. Justice

Alexander Lee’s well-researched, nicely written, pleasantly illustrated book on the Italian Renaissance — especially the Florentine Renaissance — makes a very useful if not very original argument: The glorious products ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Daft? Partly In the December 8 issue, Henry Olsen (“A Victory to Last”) attributes the Republicans’ losses in the 1948 election to their passage of the Taft-Hartley Act the previous year. ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Doesn’t Al Sharpton realize that all the government spending he advocates will only increase his taxes? Oh, wait . . . ‐ Some of us tried to warn the Obama ...
Athwart

A Regular Riot

I lived in a D.C. neighborhood that experienced a spontaneous civilian-assisted property-redistribution episode, a.k.a. a riot. In the fall of 1991, a black female cop shot a Hispanic male, an ...
The Long View

The December 2014 SkyMall Catalogue

From Pages 12–18 of the December 2014  SkyMall™ Catalogue Holiday Gifts for the Congressional Staffer in Your Life! *     *     * The NoRegrets™ mobile-phone case slips easily on your iPhone or Samsung Galaxy ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

POET’S NOCTURNE Should one happen upon the darkness with confidence, in familiar circumstance, there will be no place for emptiness, for heartfelt fear of loss from the old bones of imagination never fully laid to rest. ...

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