From Publishers Weekly
Chua (World on Fire
), a Yale law professor and daughter of immigrants, examines a number of world-dominant powers—a none too rigorously defined group that lumps together the Persian, Roman, Mongol and British empires with the contemporary United States—and argues that tolerance and multiculturalism are indispensable features of global economic and military success. Such hyperpowers rise, Chua argues, because their tolerance of minority cultures and religions, their receptivity to foreign ideas and their willingness to absorb and empower talented provincials and immigrants lets them harness the world's human capital. Conversely, hyperpowers decline when their assimilative capacities falter and they lapse into intolerance and exclusion. The sexy concept of a world-dominant hyperpower, in addition to being somewhat erratic—the smallish Dutch Republic makes the cut, while the far-flung (but inconveniently intolerant) Spanish empire doesn't—is doubtful when examining an America that can hardly dominate Baghdad and not much more convincing when applied to earlier hegemons. Chua does offer an illuminating survey of the benefits of tolerance and pluralism, often as a tacit brief for maintaining America's generous immigration policies. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Clear-eyed and hard-headed. . . . Chua writes with a wry, breezy wit, giving her analysis a lively accessibility.” —The Los Angeles Times
“Extraordinary. . . . An incredibly ambitious book, but Chua is up to the task.” —Times Literary Supplement
“Convincing [and] timely. . . . Chua's lively writing makes her case studies interesting in themselves.” —The Washington Post
“Takes up the challenge of 'Big History' [with] an almost Toynbeean sweep. . . . [Day of Empire
] has a chance of becoming a classic.” —Paul Kennedy, Foreign Affairs