About the Book

Arsenal of Democracy

Arsenal of Democracy

The Politics of National Security—From World War II to the War on Terrorism
March 2012
Trade Paperback · 592 Pages
$24.00 U.S. · $26.50 CAN · £15.99 U.K. · €16.99 E.U.
ISBN 9780465028504
Basic Books


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In Arsenal of Democracy, historian and public intellectual Julian Zelizer shows how internal politics have influenced American foreign policy since the Cold War. Rejecting the notion that, prior to the presidency of George W. Bush, politics ?stopped at the water's edge,? Zelizer exposes the partisan fighting that shaped the foreign policies of presidents from FDR to Kennedy to Reagan, revealing the extent to which the GOP and Democratic party have alternately sought to define themselves as the party of war and the party of peace as the political mood shifted. Republicans, he shows, have not always been hawks; during World War II, it was the Democratic party that took the lead not only in entering war, but in ensuring that the national security apparatus that emerged would remain a fixture of the American political landscape even after the war was over. A definitive account of the complex interaction between domestic politics and foreign affairs over the last six decades, Arsenal of Democracy is essential reading for anyone interested in the politics of national security.

About the Author

Julian Zelizer is a Professor of History at Princeton University. He is the author of Taxing America, winner of the Organization of American Historians? Ellis Hawley Prize, and has contributed articles to the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, American Prospect, Boston Globe, and Huffington Post among others. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.