This is Lieber’s core message.
Nothing lasts forever, so someday the predictions of America’s decline will come true—whether in this millennium, or the next. Meanwhile, the sightings always titillate, just as those of Nessie and Sasquatch do. And so the likes of Kennedy and Prestowitz, however much in error they are shown to be, can laugh all the way to the bank. Those readers who prefer wisdom and good sense in their historical analysis, and would rather find their frissons elsewhere, will get more out of reading Lieber.
Joshua Muravchik is a fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute at Johns Hopkins University.