THE ROOTS OF AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY by Gabriel Kolko

THE ROOTS OF AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Elsewhere Professor Kolko has argued that the business Establishment is the center of American power and that most legislation and reform of this century has served its ends. Here, he asserts that business dominates foreign policy formation and implementation, and that the American presence in Vietnam is a consistent (if foredoomed) outcome of that domination. Relying heavily on the scholarship of his earlier controversial books, Wealth and Power in America and The Triumph of Conservatism, Kolko gives only scant space to demonstration of his hypothesis. He shows that governmental decision-makers often are ""on loan"" from corporations, and then he proceeds to an analysis of the ""civilianization"" of the defense Establishment, indicating that military interests have been subordinated to those of business. Then comes an analysis of America's role in international economics (a vested interest in maintaining stability, and thereby, a market hegemony) and the explanation of Vietnam intervention as the ""consummate example."" The book ends with a quiet plea to radicals and moralists to refrain from an ill- considered politics of confrontation, as this politics lends credence to the myth that the American power structure can be petitioned effectively. The main difficulty with Kolko's book is that it consists almost entirely of conclusions and therefore has an ex cathedra air. However it does confirm a currently emerging position.

Pub Date: April 7th, 1969
Publisher: Beacon