"A book with riveting historical perspective for careful thought about where we are and where we can go if we get it right." (The Honorable George P. Shultz, Hoover Institution)
"Hubbard and Kane synthesize economics, politics and psychology to develop a new audacious theory of why countries decline. Compulsory reading for anyone who wants to understand the major issues that America now faces and whether decline can be averted, or will instead become inevitable." (James Robinson, co-author of Why Nations Fail)
“In seeking to discover what might be common factors throughout history to explain the rise and decline of powerful states, Hubbard and Kane have succeeded in identifying surprisingly similar trajectories. Their thought-provoking analysis has compelling relevance for America’s future.” (Henry A. Kissinger)
"Political paralysis leading to fiscal collapse is the “existential threat” facing America, argues this stimulating, contentious economic history... Theirs is political economy with a grand historical sweep—and provocative implications for the present." (Publishers Weekly
“Offers some policy proposals that ought to be taken seriously, even by those who don’t agree with all their premises. At the very least, some of these ideas could be used as blueprints for the rare politician seeking some acceptable grounds for compromise.” (Time.com
“A readable, data-rich history of the fall of great powers through the eyes of two fiscally troubled US conservatives in 2013.” (Financial Times
“The history of economic folly that they skillfully recount in ‘Balance’ is a timely reminder that societies that seem invincible are often anything but.” (Wall Street Journal
"[A] rapid romp through imperial history.... The authors argue persuasively that the decay [of nations] typically starts long before [an external military] event and usually originates with some internal change. " (Foreign Affairs
About the Author
is the dean of Columbia University's Graduate School of Business and the former chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers. He is a frequent contributor to Business Week
, The Wall Street Journal
, and The New York Times
, as well as PBS's The Nightly Business Report
and American Public Media's Marketplace
. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and two sons.
Tim Kane is the chief economist of the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC and former senior economist at the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress. He is a veteran U.S. Air Force officer. He lives in Vienna, Virginia with his wife and four children.