Waking Up

Daydream Believers
How a Few Grand Ideas Wrecked American Power
Fred Kaplan
Wiley, $25.95, 256 pp.

Heads in the Sand
How the Republicans Screw Up Foreign Policy and Foreign Policy Screws Up the Democrats
Matthew Yglesias
Wiley, $25.95, 272 pp.

Just as the impending departure of the Bush administration threatens to make the “Iraq book” superfluous, along come Fred Kaplan’s Daydream Believers and Matthew Yglesias’s Heads in the Sand to reframe the debate. Mercifully, both Yglesias (formerly a blogger for the Atlantic, now at the Center for American Progress) and Kaplan (military correspondent for Slate) stay off the well-worn track of cataloguing specific Bush administration failures. Instead, their remarkably complementary books expose basic flaws in the administration’s geopolitical assumptions, and suggest an alternative set of ideas to work with in the future—ideas that may mark the beginning of a trend in Democratic Party foreign-policy thinking.


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About the Author

Nick Baumann is the news editor for Mother Jones.