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The Weary Titan: Britain and the Experience of Relative Decline, 1895-1905 Paperback – October 1, 1989


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (October 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691008442
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691008448
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,349,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Much of this debate [concerning military, economic, and political reforms] in late-Victorian and Edwardian Britain has now been brought together in Aaron Friedberg's fine new work The Weary Titan: Britain and the Experience of Relative Decline, 1895-1905. . . . Friedberg's study is a valuable new contribution to this important issue, and both historians and political scientists will be indebted to him for it."--Paul Kennedy, The New York Review of Books

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By T. Graczewski VINE VOICE on October 19, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The argument that the United States is on the precipice of dramatic and strategically painful relative decline has come in and out of fashion many times over the past half century. The aggressive expansion of the communist bloc in the 1950s, the domestic upheaval and Vietnam War in the 1960s, Watergate and the oil shock in the 1970s, and economic competition from Japan and the Asian tigers in the 1980s all seemed to signal the twilight of American global dominance. And yet at the turn of the millennium the US stood unrivaled and beyond doubt the most powerful nation or empire ever to straddle the earth. Today, with the rise of China and to a lesser extent India, along with two financially draining and unpopular wars, the idea that America's best days are behind her is again in vogue.

This learned piece by Princeton political scientist (and former national security assistant to Vice President Dick Cheney) Aaron Friedberg was written the last time the general consensus held that America was in decline - the late 1980s. Friedberg reviews four distinct dimensions of national power: economic, financial, naval, and land power. He uses the late Victorian British Empire as a case study to test three central and timeless strategic questions: 1) How do statesmen measure relative national power? 2) How do individuals and entire governments become aware of unfavorable changes in the relative power of their own countries? 3) How do nations seek to adapt to such shifts?

Friedberg demonstrates that in each issue the debate ultimately revolved around a single, almost arbitrary measure of power.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
For any student of history who has an interest in world events, they should read this book. I did not realize the economic and military problems Britian was having in being able to afford and defend their large empire. Frieberg describes how, at the end of the 18th century the changes in technology, was creating serious defense problems, in addition the British dislike of military conscription put the British Army at a serious disadvantage. The army's problems, evident in the Boer War became a true disaster in WWI. In the end Britian was unable and unwilling to "pay for the privilege" of being a world power.
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