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Grand Strategy in Theory and Practice
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Book description

This book explores fundamental questions about grand strategy, as it has evolved across generations and countries. It provides an overview of the ancient era of grand strategy and a detailed discussion of its philosophical, military, and economic foundations in the modern era. The author investigates these aspects through the lenses of four approaches - those of historians, social scientists, practitioners, and military strategists. The main goal is to provide contemporary policy makers and scholars with a historic and analytic framework in which to evaluate and conduct grand strategy. By providing greater analytical clarity about grand strategy and describing its nature and its utility for the state, this book presents a comprehensive theory on the practice of grand strategy in order to articulate the United States' past, present, and future purpose and position on the world stage.


'An ambitious work, which reflects deep and wide reading in history and theory, makes a bold and compelling case for a rethinking of the first principles of American foreign policy. A particularly useful work when America’s role in the world, and the way Americans think about it, is in flux.'

Eliot A. Cohen - Robert E. Osgood Professor of Strategic Studies, Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies

'William Martel's Grand Strategy in Theory and Practice represents a major contribution to the debate about grand strategy. This study - a must-read for scholars and policy makers - establishes that he is a pre-eminent thinker on the critical influence of grand strategy on the design and conduct of foreign policy.'

Admiral James Stavridis USN (retired) - Dean, The Fletcher School, Tufts University, Massachusetts

'At a time when growing threats and constrained defense resources require a well-formulated and well-implemented national security strategy to protect America’s interests, Professor Martel has written an impressive book on grand strategy that will serve as a valuable reference for policy makers.'

Kelly Ayotte - United States Senator

'William C. Martel has written a masterful and sweeping account of the elusive search for an American grand strategy. As Americans seek to chart their course in a turbulent 21st century, Martel's insightful work is an indispensable guide.'

Nicholas Burns - Harvard University, Massachusetts and former Under Secretary of State

'In this important study about grand strategy and American foreign policy, William Martel makes a valuable contribution to the ongoing policy debate about the United States’ role on the world stage. Martel provides timely guidance for American decision makers in providing for the security and wellbeing of the United States and our country’s international partners. His principles to govern grand strategy soberly weighs the capability of the United States to reconcile American ends and means.'

John H. Maurer - Alfred Thayer Mahan Professor, Strategy and Policy Department, Naval War College

'Today, America’s grand strategy isn’t very grand and not much of a strategy. Bill Martel offers one clear and powerful prescription for keeping the nation safe, free and prosperous for the long-term - ideas that deserve a hearing.'

Jay Carafano - Vice President, Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, Heritage Foundation

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