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This study describes how the past 500 years shows that nations which became great powers had to decline as their growth rate slowed and their spending on defence continued to increase and explains how this can be eased or worsened by clever or short-sighted policy decisions. The final chapter looks at the current dilemna of the USA, the USSR, the EEC, Japan and China, and peers. Paul Kennedy also wrote "Strategy and Diplomacy, 1870-1945" and "The Realities Behind Diplomacy, 1865-1980"
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About the Author

Paul Kennedy studied at the universities of Newcastle and Oxford and is now professor of history at Yale. His other books include The Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery and Preparing for the Twenty-first Century.

Reviews

`A brilliantly original book...It is intended for the intelligent layman as well as the academic historian, combining in Toynbee-esque manner the sweeping conception with careful attention to historical detail' Financial Times `This book is falling out of briefcases all over Washington DC, both because it looks and sounds erudite and because it purports to answer an increasingly common question: Has the United States already embarked on its journey into the sunset of empire? It is administering a lot of frissons to trend-watchers' Christopher Hitchens `Outstanding...He ranges across five centuries and around the whole world. He seems to have read every relevant book in every possible language. And he has produced a general argument so deceptively simple that no politician, however busy, should ignore or misunderstand it' Observer `One of the masterpieces of modern historical writing' Daily Telegraph `A masterpiece of exposition. It is erudite and elegantly written' New Society `A remarkable book...long, clever, often funny, and crammed with remarkable insights; it is tinged with the genius that unravels complexity' Evening Standard `Shows a master historian's ability to use evidence like a boxing champion's uppercut' TES `One of those rare (and irresistible) books which successfully combine the scope and sweep of `popular' history with the discriminating rigour of professional historiography, making it both a bloody good read and a thought-provoking one' Listener

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