Dr. Jeremi Suri has spent his life researching the complex events and power dynamics that have regularly restructured our world—for example, wars, migrations, and major societal shifts. From this background, he brings us his newest book, Liberty’s Surest Guardian. In it, he examines how America’s interventionist tendencies have transformed the world’s history, with hopes of helping people understand the global implications of our country’s actions.
Far from being a dry, irrelevant history text, Liberty’s Surest Guardian’s exploration of our past efforts in nation-building offers us insights that are deeply applicable to our present and future challenges as we continually struggle with the extent and nature of our involvement in foreign affairs. Though our fundamental aim has been to spread our vision of democracy and bring about friendly governments ruled by free peoples, such ambitions carry the inherent dilemmas of applying our will in foreign countries. Suri analyzes each societal reconstruction we have undergone after major eras of our history, tracing the links from the American Revolution to our recent involvement in the Middle East.
Drawing on the lessons of both our successes and failures, Suri describes the important components of nation-building with the 5 “P’s”: working with Partners, sticking to a Process, practicing Problem-solving, having a Purpose, and focusing on People. He concludes by projecting how this is crucially relevant to the questions looming before us. What are our next steps in places where we have recently intervened, like Afghanistan, Yemen and Libya? How will our efforts affect our relationships with our allies and our alliance forces, such as NATO or the UN? And the greatest question, what will all this mean for our future in nation-building?
Dr. Suri currently works with the University of Texas’s History Department and previously worked at the University of Wisconsin. The author of five books and many more articles, editorials, and blogs, he has received numerous awards for his work and was named one of America’s “Top Young Innovators” by Smithsonian Magazine in 2007. Suri earned his B.A. from Stanford University, his M.A. from Ohio University, and his Ph.D. from Yale University.
In cooperation with
The Department of History at the University of Texas at Austin