The Internationalists

Alexander Ward


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Penguin Putnam Inc
20 February 2024
ISBN: 9780593539071
384 pages

From the publisher

The inside story of Biden’s foreign policy team and their struggle to restore America’s global influence in the aftermath of Trump

When Joe Biden assumed the United States presidency, he brought with him a team of all-star talent, perhaps the most experienced ensemble of policy experts in modern U.S. history. Their mission: repair America’s damaged reputation abroad and decide the course of its global future.  

The challenges and risks could not have been greater. Around the world, adversaries were consolidating power, allies were drifting away, wars were raging, and climate change was accelerating, all while Russia was disrupting democracies and China was seeking to replace the U.S. as the world’s preeminent power. Now for the first time since World War II, the United States risked falling from its unrivaled position. If Biden and his team failed, it would likely mark the end of an American era and the rise of a fractured and autocratic world order.  

In The Internationalists, acclaimed national security reporter Alexander Ward takes us behind the scenes to reveal the struggle to enact a coherent and effective set of policies in a time of global crisis. Against the failure of Afghanistan and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Biden’s all-star team-of-rivals must band together against incredible odds. Their successes, and their failures, will decide not just Biden’s presidency. They will decide the very course of America’s global future. 

As The Best and The Brightest chronicled the smoke-filled rooms of the Kennedy Administration, and The Rise of The Vulcans detailed the inner workings of George Bush’s war machine, The Internationalists takes readers behind the scenes as Joe Biden and his cabinet embark on some of the most ambitious foreign policy initiatives of any president since Richard M. Nixon. 

Thanks to rigorous reporting and sources in the rooms where it happened, Ward delivers the first draft of history, the first definitive, unvarnished account of the Biden Doctrine, from the Fall of Kabul to the Rise of Kiev.