The widely acclaimed bestseller that boldly and lucidly puts our economic and political dilemmas into the perspective of world history.
In this wide-ranging and carefully argued survey, Paul Kennedy considers the subject of national and international power. Focusing on the "modern" or post-Renaissance period, his straightforward approach examines how various powers rose and fell over the five centuries since the formation of the "new monarchies" of Western Europe. Kennedy's surprising observations and penetrating conclusions have earned this classic work a deserved, lasting place in the historical canon.
The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers continues to give us applicable parallels in thinking about our world today.
"A work of almost Toynbeean sweep... When a scholar as careful and learned as Mr. Kennedy is prompted by contemporary issues to reexamine the great processes of the past, the result can only be an enhancement of our historical understanding....When the study is written as simply and attractively as this work is, its publication may have a great and beneficient impact. It is to be hoped that Mr. Kennedy's will have one, at a potentially decisive moment in America's history." —Michael Howard, The New York Times Book Review
"Important, learned, and lucid....Paul Kennedy's great achievement is that he makes us see our current international problems against a background of empires that have gone under because they were unable to sustain the material cost of greatness; and he does so in a universal historical perspective of which Ranke would surely have approved." —James Joll, The New York Review of Books
"His strategic-economic approach provides him with the context for a shapely narrative....Professor Kennedy not only exploits his framework eloquently, he also makes use of it to dig deeper and explore the historical contexts in which some 'power centers' prospered....But the most commanding purpose of his project....is the lesson he draws from 15 centuries of statecraft to apply to the present scene....[The book's] final section is for everyone concerned with the contemporary political scene." —Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times
"Kennedy gives epic meaning to the nation's relative economic and industrial decline." —Newsweek
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