Judis... does not see a death-match between imperial liberalism on the one hand and nationalism on the other ... [a] modest book ... The crucial question, which... Mr. Judis [doesn't fully answer] is what that identity should look like in today’s America.
Like many of his fellow explainers, Judis writes as a liberal who has wised up, one who has seen what so many of his progressive confreres have missed and who sighs with exasperation at how desperately out of touch they have become ... Methodically and with data widely drawn, Judis points the finger at a globalization that has seen once well-rewarded jobs shipped overseas; at immigration and the cultural and economic resentment it stirs; and at terrorism and the fear of the other it provokes ... But Judis... too easily caricatures [certain populations] as unmoored citizens of the world ... More troubling is Judis’s embrace of some of the presumptions that underlie the hawkish nationalism he aims to analyze ... this book is a timely, if flawed, reminder of [naionalism's] importance.
Against this background, the author proposes that Trumpian nationalism, a zero-sum game in which there are only winners and losers, need not be the only alternative to an internationalism by which nations cede sovereignty, as with the European Union. Indeed, he suggests, international cooperation is best effected by sovereign nations at whose helm is a single great power, as with Great Britain in the 19th century and—well, perhaps China in the 21st. Wonkish but of broad interest to students of geopolitics, international affairs, and economics.