Twelve essays that together summarize postwar developments, describe America's present situation, and chart a course for the future--all on the assumption that ""her role as a maintainer of the [international] system is at an end."" British analyst Alastair Buchan reviews criticisms of American foreign policy from the 1940s on and makes two recommendations--for a relationship with the European Economic Community that (given the Community's ""increasing political coherence"") is more like a coalition and ""less like an American pro-consulship""; and for continuous action ""in concert"" with the USSR. Coral Bell, an Australian teaching in England, defends that current bugbear, detente, with a debater's verve. Detente, she maintains, prepared the US to accept defeat in Southeast Asia (if communism in Peking is tolerable, why fear it in Saigon or Pnompenh?) and allowed us to better deploy our limited power, while fear of endangering detente curbed the USSR in Cyprus and the Middle East; she also answers detente's critics on the right and left. Apropos of the US and Europe, Pierre Hassner anatomizes the contradictions of Kissinger diplomacy; FranÃ‡ois DuchÃªne corrects US misconceptions of the EEC as impotent or even moribund; Peter Katzenstein advises limiting US reliance on West Germany to the realistic role of a broker. In the Far East, says Kenneth Hunt, the US should rationalize its position vis-Ã -vis Taiwan (maintain trade relations, drop diplomatic representation) and South Korea. America's recent role in the world economy is summarized firmly if rather complacently by Leonard Silk; a crisp, balanced assessment of the multinational corporations is provided by Robert Gilpin (who warns that they are developing the world to the detriment of the US, like Roman and British imperialism before them); and G. Fred Bergstem points out the host countries' determination to get advantageous terms. (Neither goes into how the host countries have been harmed.) Wide-ranging observations by editor Rosecrance conclude. Some strong individual contributions in a positive, up-to-date overview.