Winner of the 2003 Lionel Gelber Prize, America Unbound has been lauded for its evenhanded treatment of Bush's foreign policy. Veterans of the Clinton administration's National Security Council staff, authors Ivo Daalder and James Lindsay argue that President Bush has launched a revolution in American foreign policy. He has redefined how America engages the world, shedding the constraints that friends, allies, and international institutions have traditionally imposed on its freedom, insisting that an America unbound is a more secure America.
How did a man once mocked for knowing little about the world come to be a foreign policy revolutionary? Daalder and Lindsay dismiss claims that neoconservatives have captured the heart and mind of the president. They show that Bush has been no one's puppet; instead, he has been a strong and decisive leader with a coherent worldview that was evident even during the 2000 presidential campaign.
Daalder and Lindsay caution that the Bush foreign policy revolution comes with significant risks. Raw power alone is not enough, they argue, to preserve and extend America's security and prosperity in the modern world. The United States often needs the help of others to meet the challenges it faces overseas, but Bush's revolutionary impulse has stirred great resentment abroad. At some point, the authors contend, Bush could find that America's friends and allies refuse to follow his lead, and America will then stand alone—a great power unable to achieve its most important goals.