In a work of remarkable scope, Charles A. Kup-chan exposes the flaws in this conventional wisdom, revealing that the close of the Cold War heralded not America’s final victory but the beginning of the demise of its global dominance. He contends that the next challenge to America is fast emerging. It comes not from the Islamic world or from an ascendant China, but from an integrating Europe, whose economy already rivals America’s. As the European Union seeks influence commensurate with its economic status, it will inevitably rise as a counterweight to the United States. America and Europe are parting ways, the discord extending well beyond the realm of trade. Decades of strategic partnership are giving way to renewed geopolitical competition.
Kupchan argues that the unraveling of American primacy will be expedited by growing opposition at home to the country’s burdensome role as global guardian. Although temporarily reawakened by terrorism, America’s appetite for international engagement is on the wane; the country’s historic aversion toward foreign entanglements is making a comeback. Returning as well is America’s fondness for unilateral action, alienating the partners with whom Washington will need to work to bring together an increasingly divided world. The impact of the digital age on U.S. society also promises to have profound effects on American politics and on the scope and nature of the country’s role in global politics.
Far from watching the end of history, we will be witnesses to the end of the American era. By deftly mining the lessons of the past to cast light on our future, Kupchan explains how the United States and the rest of the world should prepare for the more unpredictable and unstable global system that awaits. Timely and compelling, this book will take its place among the most insightful works of geopolitics.
“An absorbing and thought-provoking book on what Charles Kupchan considers the central challenges to future U.S. preeminence and global stability.” —Henry Kissinger
“A bold and elegant new statement about the coming breakdown of Pax Americana and a return to great-power rivalry.” —Foreign Affairs
“Indispensable reading for anyone who recognizes the importance of challenging the conventional wisdom about America’s evolving world role.” —The Dallas Morning News
“In this dazzling work, steeped in history and politics, Charles A. Kupchan maps out an original and persuasive vision of where America and the world are headed. The time to read this book is now.” —James Chace, author of Acheson: The Secretary of State Who Created the American World
“With his expansive knowledge of history, Kupchan places contemporary trends in perspective. . . . Offers revealing insights into contemporary policy matters with a spectacular eye for detail.” –The Christian Science Monitor
“Elegantly explores the benefits and dangers of U.S. primacy and the system of globalization that has come with it. His call for a rethinking of America’s role in the world could not be more timely. . . . Well worth reading.” –George Soros
“An important and provocative reassessment of American power and foreign policy.”–Lee H. Hamilton, Director, Woodrow Wilson International Center
“This original and informative work challenges our conventional wisdom and offers useful strategic guidance. Agree with it or not, Kupchan will make you think and reexamine your assumptions as you enjoy the clarity of his writing and thought.”–Anthony Lake, National Security Advisor in the first Clinton administration
“Provocatively embedding his argument in examinations of historical power shifts . . . Kupchan argues that American preeminence is dangerous to sustain, because it is in fact unsustainable.” –Booklist
“Compelling analysis, rich in the lessons of history, that will shatter the illusions of a perpetual Pax Americana. . . . As controversial as it is insightful.” –Ronald Steel, author of Walter Lippmann and the American Century
“An ambitious enterprise . . . Kupchan should be congratulated for bravely tackling broad issues in an age of specialization.”–Times Literary Supplement (UK)
From the Trade Paperback edition.