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The Next American Century: How the U.S. Can Thrive as Other Powers Rise Hardcover – January 8, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Two brilliant young foreign policy thinkers provide a strong, practical, optimistic lesson that Americans should take to heart." -- Brent Scowcroft, former National Security Adviser

"A persuasive book, a healthy dose of forward-looking optimism, and a great read." -- Ian Bremmer, author of The J Curve

"In this thought-provoking book, the next generation weighs in with a new framework for American leadership. The Next American Century offers a new approach to the crucial challenge of dealing with the world." -- James Rubin, former Assistant Secretary of State

"This lively and strikingly commonsense book offers a refreshing alternative to the customary prophesies of doom and the obsessive search for a new archenemy. Nina Hachigian and Mona Sutphen also suggest an unpretentious but constructive formula for America's resumption of responsible world leadership." -- Brian Urquhart, former Under-Secretary-General of the UN

"Finally, a thoughtful (and thought-provoking) book that tells us the positive strategic news about the rise of China, India, and other emerging global powers, without glossing over the challenges." -- Dan Burstein, coauthor of Secrets of 24

"At a time when the United States far too often sees the world in 'us against them' terms, The Next American Century is a wonderful corrective. It proposes 'strategic collaboration.' It recognizes that national security begins at home, with education, health care, infrastructure, and all that ensures that America remains the land of opportunity and innovation." -- Anne-Marie Slaughter, Dean, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University

"The Next American Century describes brilliantly why the world's rising powers are not only necessary competitors but essential partners. The main challenge is to accept challenge. This positive, down-to-earth reminder should be essential reading." -- Matt Miller, author of The 2 Percent Solution --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Nina Hachigian is a Senior Vice President at the Center for American Progress and a Visiting Scholar of the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University. Earlier, she was the Director of the Center for Asia-Pacific Policy and a Senior Political Scientist at RAND. From 1998 to 1999, she was on the staff of the National Security Council. She lives in Los Angeles.

Mona Sutphen is the current Deputy White House Chief of Staff and a former Managing Director at Stonebridge International LLC, a Washington-based international business strategy firm. A former diplomat, she served in Bangkok and Sarajevo. Later, she servedv as Special Assistant to U.S. National Security Adviser Samuel R. Berger and as an advisor to United Nations Ambassador Bill Richardson. She lives in New York.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (January 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743290992
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743290999
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #702,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Joe Day on January 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
In 'The Next American Century,' Nina Hachigian and Mona Sutphen build a compelling case for embracing, rather than fearing, the rise of what they term 'Pivotal' powers: China, Russia, the EU, Japan and India. As they point out, the major threats to US lives - terrorism, pandemics, loose nukes, global warming - cannot be contained without the coordination, rather than subordination, of these major powers.

Though broadly, and at the moment, unusually, optimistic about these states and our potential in future dealings with them, the Next American Century devotes early chapters to the distinct trajectories, roles and weaknesses of each pivotal power, including the US - a thorough, compelling survey for anyone trying to handicap the prospects of major world players today. Hachigian and Sutphen conclude with recommendations for US politicians and citizens - for the former, much more global engagement and a diplomacy that capitalizes more on the distinct and diverse characteristics, as well as the rapid ascent, of these ancient and Leviathan cultures; for the rest of us, travel more and don't let another generation of American school children enter the world speaking only English.
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Format: Hardcover
A sensible and thought-provoking foreign policy strategy which is, for the most part, balanced and smart, with a few controversial suggestions.

The authors envision a world with a declining (in relative terms) but still dominant United States, joined by so-called pivotal powers -- China, India, Europe, Russia, Japan. It's noteworthy their list didn't include Brazil (which lacks an international focus despite having a strong economy). Iran is an aspiring regional power. They would prefer to see the United Nations security council seating to reflect this emerging reality, with Britain and France merged into one seat for Europe, and India and Japan given seats.

America and the rising pivotal powers share common interests. Everybody wants a secure economic order. There isn't much to gain by conquering land, they argue, although I think this assumes conquerors will treat victims kindly (history has numerous counter-examples, unfortunately). The six powers can help each other battle common menaces like terrorism. Their economies are so tightly interwoven that war would be expensive and detrimental. "We literally own pieces of each other's economies" they write. "All the big powers are in the same economic boat, and no one wants to rock it too hard". Moreover, America can not hinder the growth of rising powers. So the authors counsel against over-preparing for one scenario when the world changes so fast. Pivotal powers are economic rivals, not enemies.

Everybody can thrive if cool heads prevail. While pivotal powers sees themselves as vulnerable, they seek prestige and influence and freedom to maneuver within their own regions. Their priorities (economic growth, terrorism prevention) are in line with America's. They benefit from a militarily strong America.
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Format: Hardcover
I found myself nodding as I read this book, sometimes emphatically, as I took it all in. It makes so much sense, I thought, that the United States can best thrive if it makes strategic allies, instead of enemies, out of the world's other powers. It is intellectually simplistic to assume that 'pivotal powers,' as the authors call China, Europe, India, Japan and Russia, are in a zero-sum competition with the US. And yet a lot of debate in this country does indeed assume that the rise of others must mean the demise of us. Instead, the authors write persuasively, the US will be better off if it can recognize the obvious benefits of cooperating and coordinating mutual advantages with these powers, and acting with intelligence and generosity.

I lived and worked in China for many years, and it perpetually surprised me how many Americans I met on visits back home thought that China was a threat and an enemy to American prosperity. I gradually came to see that such belief was more fear and less perception of reality. China can look scary to outsiders, who are unaware of the depth of its own internal challenges, or of the sincerity of its desire for safe growth and self-respect. The authors of this book see clearly, adroitly recognizing dangers and difficulties, while identifying common purpose in concrete and productive goals. Cooperating with China to contain pandemic disease, for instance, makes more sense that arguing over whether Taiwan should be independent or not. Jointly fighting terrorism with India ought to be a priority over taking sides in Kashmir.

This book offers some hope, in a perplexing and terrifying world, that the US can play a sharply more constructive role as a leader in the coming years. A true leader inspires, cajoles and blazes a safer path. It does not dictate, nor bully. May cooler heads, like the two who wrote this book, prevail.
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By patricia on February 15, 2016
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great political science read!
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Format: Hardcover
"The Next American Century"is a rare occurrence : a carefully researched, eminently erudite, pleasantly readable and convincing argument for the redefinition of American hegemony in the XXIst century. Creating a surprisingly accessible framework for a complex subject, the authors contextualize American influence in the global arena by characterizing the "pivotal powers" as potential partners rather than threats. A welcome addition to the current world affairs canon, both an excellent foreign policy primer and thought-provoking hypothesis. Let us hope it is on every presidential campaign's reading list.
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