October 19 - November 5, 2017

Concord, Massachusetts

Two weeks of talks, readings, and discussions celebrating the written and the spoken word.
  • Colman Andrews
    Colman Andrews
  • Alice Hoffman
    Alice Hoffman
  • Gordon Wood
    Gordon Wood
  • Gish Jen
    Gish Jen

Andrew J. Bacevich

Events: Opening Night - Andrew J. Bacevich

Book: Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War

Andrew J. Bacevich is a professor of history and international relations at Boston University and a retired colonel from the U.S. Army. He is the author of The Limits of Power and The New American Militarism. His writing has appeared in Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic Monthly, The Nation, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. He is the recipient of a Lannan Award and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

In his new book, Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War, Bacevich critically examines the Washington consensus on national security and explains why it must change. For the last half century, as administrations have come and gone, the fundamental assumptions about America’s military policy have remained unchanged: American security requires the United States to maintain a permanent armed presence around the globe, to prepare our forces for military operations in far-flung regions, and to be ready to intervene anywhere at any time. In the Obama era, just as in the Bush years, these beliefs remain unquestioned gospel.

Bacevich exposes the preconceptions, biases, and habits that underlie our pervasive faith in military might, especially the notion that overwhelming superiority will oblige others to accommodate America’s needs and desires—whether for cheap oil, cheap credit, or cheap consumer goods. And he challenges the usefulness of our militarism as it has become both unaffordable and increasingly dangerous.

Though our politicians deny it, American global might is faltering. This is the moment, Bacevich argues, to reconsider the principles which shape American policy in the world—to acknowledge that fixing Afghanistan should not take precedence over fixing Detroit. Replacing this Washington consensus is crucial to America’s future, and may yet offer the key to the country’s salvation.