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Superpower on Crusade: The Bush Doctrine in US Foreign Policy

Mel Gurtov
Superpower on Crusade: The Bush Doctrine in US Foreign Policy
ISBN: 978-1-58826-431-2
ISBN: 978-1-58826-407-7
2006/265 pages/LC: 2005029705

"A carefully documented, important book.... The author makes his case convincingly without being shrill, referencing different perspectives.... Highly recommended."—Choice

"From his work in the 1960s on the Pentagon Papers to this new book, Mel Gurtov has proven to be one of the most thoughtful and profound critics of US foreign policy. Superpower on Crusade, a study of global scope solidly supported with logic and evidence, examines both the roots of the Bush Doctrine and its self-defeating implications."—PeterVan Ness, Australian National University

"A powerful and rich synthesis.... honest, balanced, remarkably clear and readable. This is a book that deserves a wide readership, not only among students and academics, but also the broader public audience."—Jerel Rosati, University of South Carolina

"A well written and provocative examination of an exceedingly important subject. It will no doubt enrich the debate over the means and ends of contemporary US foreign policy."—Christopher M. Jones, Northern Illinois University


With its emphasis on unilateralism, preemptive attack, and regime change, US foreign policy under George W. Bush continued the longstanding US quest for primacy—but with some radical departures from previous approaches.

Superpower on Crusade offers a critical exploration of the origins and implementation of the Bush Doctrine.

Gurtov first traces the sources of US missionary and expansionist tendencies and highlights their particular manifestations in the Bush administration. Then turning to the war on Iraq, he focuses on real vs. stated objectives, the Pentagon's pre-eminence in shaping security policy, and the roles of Congress, the UN, and US allies. Subsequent chapters examine US policy with regard to such issues as nuclear proliferation, international law, development assistance, the environment, and human rights.

Assessing the costs of the Bush Doctrine at home and abroad, Superpower on Crusade presents a concise critique of US foreign policy intended to stimulate debate in the classroom, as well as among scholars.


Mel Gurtov is professor of political science and international studies at Portland State University. His numerous publications include Global Politics in the Human Interest (translated into Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish) and, most recently, Pacific Asia? Prospects for Security and Cooperation in East Asia.


  • From the War on Communism to the War on Terror.
  • The Bush Doctrine.
  • False Pretenses: The War on Iraq.
  • Fallout: The Perils and Profits of Empire.
  • Rogue and Clients: The Long Arm of Unilateralism.
  • The United States as Global Citizen.
  • Crusading: Costs and Alternatives.
No rights in South Asia.