Donald Trump’s critics, at home and abroad, accuse him of breaking down the rules-based international order that the United States built over the past eight decades. The president’s substitute, they allege, is an erratic, bad-tempered, xenophobic, beggar-thy-neighbor nationalism that aligns with his authoritarian and populist counterparts overseas, all pointing a conflict-prone world toward fascism, crony capitalism, and environmental disaster.

Colin Dueck, professor at George Mason University, disagrees. In Age of Iron: On Conservative Nationalism, Dueck continues his efforts to understand America’s foreign policy traditions, and to articulate a sound course for the future. The American nationalism he advocates is neither fascistic nor undemocratic, being compatible with American engagement overseas that defends and promotes democracy. The recent rise of a distinctive American nationalism is based on domestic and international factors much larger than Trump, Dueck contends, so it won’t disappear when the president leaves the scene.

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Age of Iron examines how republican foreign policy ideas developed over the past century. Dueck identifies three

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