American Exceptionalism

Interview with Prof. Andrew Bacevich


On July 8th, I spoke to Andrew Bacevich, President of the Quincy Institute, retired US Army Colonel, Professor Emeritus of International Relations and History at Boston University, author of several books including The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism, Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War, The Age of Illusions: How America Squandered Its Cold War Victory and After the Apocalypse. America's Role in a World Transformed.


00:00 Introduction

00:44 What motivated you to write this book?

3:39 The role of religion

6:25 American exceptionalism

16: "the myth of Americans as God’s new Chosen People"

19: "Across America, once-preeminent denominations of mainline Protestantism might be in a tailspin, but in Washington faith that God had singled out the United States as his instrument of salvation remained fixed in place."

8:40 The old, the new and the next order

12:56 How to bring change?

13:35 Response

51: "Rather than emphasizing threats and coercion, effective leadership must begin with the creation of exemplary communities at home, communities that can serve as models for others to embrace. If the United States aspires to lead the Next Order, it should begin by amending its own failings."

16:02 A question of US leadership

16:30 Response

19:58 The media reaction to your work

20:21 Response

21:50 The US' special relationship with Great Britain and Israel

57: "In both cases, however, that ostensibly special relationship has induced distortions in U.S. policy that ill serve American interests."

Joe Biden says if Israel didn't exist, the US would have to invent one to protect US interests. Senate Session, June 5, 1986.

27:24 "United States policy is deferential toward Israel"

31:27 The role of the US now

Photo: Prof. Andrew Bacevich

Used with Prof. Bacevich' permission