Essence of Decision (Second Edition) by Graham Allison & Philip Zelikow. pages, New York: Longman, Reviewed by Barton J. Bernstein n Buy Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis (Alternative Etext Formats) 2 by Graham T. Allison, Philip Zelikow (ISBN: ) from. Graham T. Allison – The Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis. Chapter (PDF . Philip!Zelikow,!it!introduces!some!new!insights!based!on!.

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Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis – Philip Zelikow – Google Books

This book analyzes the steps which led to an almost nuclear war inbetween the Soviet Union and USA. Jul 20, Mark Jacobsen rated it it was amazing. He shares his comments around the 32 minute mark. Allison noted there were many facts that the rational model had to ignore, such as why the Soviets failed to camouflage the nuclear sites during construction, but did so only after U-2 flights pinpointed their locations.

In retrospect, I should have tracked down a program in Decision Theory instead, but hindsight is Allison countered that Friedman has not provided enough evidence to demonstrate his theories actually predict anything, and criticizes his arguments as unscientific.

Whether you study IR, history, or are just interested in how government agencies approach problems, I cannot recommend this book enough.

Milton Friedmanin particular, countered that, even if rational zelikiw.essence theories do not describe reality per sethey should be kept since they provide accurate predictions instrumentalism.

Likewise, the political process model explained otherwise confusing affairs. He sees his choice as one between a nuclear crisis over Cuba in October or a nuclear crisis over Berlin—and under less advantageous circumstances—in November. Allison pointed to the decision by General Douglas MacArthur to defy his orders during the Korean War and march too far north.

Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis by Graham T. Allison

He then proposed the following “organizational process” model propositions:. The Organizational Connectionco-written with Peter Szantonwas published in and had some influence on the foreign policy of the allispn of President Jimmy Carter which took office in early I believe the second and third models, while helpful in fleshing out background information and adding meat to the bones, are In this book, the author uses three models as lenses in trying to best explain the U.


zllison Each model provides a different perspective on which to base the analysis, different details become salient and different results accrue, much as the different perspectives in Rashomon supply the viewer with different but equally plausible explanations of the same events. In other words, governments are made up of individual organizations that have ways of doing business and have competing interests.

Aug 06, Andrew rated it really liked it. Personalities play a big part, as does the amount of power certain players wield. We went to war because Cheney wanted us to go to war. Also, read this in the hope that it would shed some light on my grad school decision. Essence of Decision swiftly revolutionized the study of decision making in political science and beyond. It is a lonely burden the president and the chairman share, and at the climax of the crisis a bond that helps them find a way out.

While the treatment of the Cuban Missile Crisis is fascinating, the book’s greatest value is its presentation of multiple lenses for analyzing decisions: He served as assistant secretary of defense for policy and plans and is the author of “Essence of Decision: If you aand to study different theories of strategic decision making, it is a helpful book.

In a way, this is two parallel books. The minimax theorem, as first formulated in by John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern, seems to have influenced all policy decisions of the Cold War. For example, some analysts were curious as to why the Russians build the missiles in plain view and clearly vulnerable to being detected by a Decisionn spy plane.

I’ll leave the details for those interested enough in the subject to read it themselves.

Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis

Instructor resource file download The work is protected by local and international copyright laws and is provided solely for the use of instructors in teaching their courses and assessing student learning.

Jun 27, Ben rated it it was amazing. Since the s, Allison has also been a leading analyst of U. In this book, the author uses three models as lenses in trying to best explain the U. Deciaion Cuban Missile Crisis: By drcision it zelikow.esence through one set of conceptual lenses, then through a second, and finally through a “Essence of Decision” is both a vivid account of a crucial international event and a breakthrough in the application of organizational and political theory to events.


Nothing is ever as easy or as simple as is vomited forth on FoxNews or in a Rambo-esque steroid- and testosterone-laden action movie. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Not simply revised, but completely re-written, the Second Edition of this classic text Most importantly, while the flavors of realism are well zelikow.esaence and distinguished, the other two models were not.

The meeting was to commemorate the event and to discuss lessons learned. This third category combines elements that I zelikow.essfnce have called ‘realism’ in undergrad IR such as the idea that leaders have al,ison other than national powerelements that I would have called ‘liberalism’ such as the idea that ‘where you sit determines where you stand’ — e.

I honestly should have read this book much sooner given how influential it has become within the IR discipline, but better late than never, I guess. The tapes and other newly declassified documents reveal a more complex set of options than previously understood, including two critically different variants of the blockade. His most salient point: But this blockade creates new dangers, for example, conducting antisubmarine tactics against submarines that, unbeknownst to Washington, were nuclear-armed.

Rather it was an attempt to change the balance of missile power despite having run on the idea of a ‘Missile Gap’, the US actually had a tremendous nuclear advantage over the USSR at this point and ultimately strengthen Khrushchev’s hand when a conflict was anticipated to emerge over Berlin later in the year.

From inside the book. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Notably, while Kennedy surrounded himself with foreign policy and military experts, Kr tended to make decisions solo or with political advisers. Simonwhich argue that existing governmental bureaucracy places limits on a nation’s actions, and often dictates the final outcome.

This model describes action as the outputs of organizations.

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