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American Grand Strategy under ObamaCompeting Discourses$
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Georg Löfflmann

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474419765

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474419765.001.0001

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Competing Visions for America – Popular Discourses of Grand Strategy on the New York Times Best-Sellers List

Competing Visions for America – Popular Discourses of Grand Strategy on the New York Times Best-Sellers List

Chapter:
(p.64) Chapter 3 Competing Visions for America – Popular Discourses of Grand Strategy on the New York Times Best-Sellers List
Source:
American Grand Strategy under Obama
Author(s):

Georg Löfflmann

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474419765.003.0004

This chapter focuses on the New York Times best sellers list as the preeminent account of best-selling books in the United States to engage in a wider mapping of grand strategy discourses in American popular culture, beyond the realm of movie entertainment. Analyzing non-fiction books that have achieved the status of national bestseller illustrates how debates over grand strategy, American identity and national security are products of both political and popular culture, constructed in the public sphere at the multi-medial intersection of entertainment, journalism, academia and political commentary. The chapter details how competing discourses of American grand strategy have defined the past, present and future role and position of the United States in the popular imagination, reflecting a fractured public consensus over the ‘big picture.’ In this chapter, the analytical focus is on the cultural construction of a geopolitical identity of American leadership, military supremacy and national exceptionalism in popular works of non-fiction, and how key representations have confirmed or contested this dominant social construction of the American ‘Self’.

Keywords:   Robert Kagan, Andrew Bacevich, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Post-American world, Media, Intertextuality, Foreign policy experts

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