- Paperback: 704 pages
- Publisher: Vintage; 1 edition (January 15, 1989)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0679720197
- ISBN-13: 978-0679720195
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.2 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 153 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,739 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers Paperback – January 15, 1989
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From Publishers Weekly
"Kennedy, a history professor at Yale, here assesses the interaction between economics and strategy over the past five centuries," reported PW , concluding that "the book is a vigorous entry in the debate over the extent to which national wealth should be used for military purposes."
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Inside Flap
About national and international power in the "modern" or Post Renaissance period. Explains how the various powers have risen and fallen over the 5 centuries since the formation of the "new monarchies" in W. Europe.
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If you are interested in topics with far reaching global implications, I suggest you read at least the beginning and the end of Kennedy's 550 plus page thesis. I am reminded of Dorner's book, "The Logic of Failure". In it Dorner shows us how and why complex situations generate habits of thought which set failure in motion from the beginning. History seems to repeat itself. At least both Kennedy and Dorner agree on this!
Still I think the historical trends that Kennedy traces in his almost five hundred year study are valid for modern times. In particular, the comments about failing to keep up with modern technological innovation and the notion of an overreach with great powers being drained of their economic resources because of the commitments that they have made. I think of the United States in multiple wars and committed to security throughout the world.
What we learn ultimately is that no great power can have it all, forever.
I would say that the best way to enjoy the book would be to have a little bit of background in history first, because it does a fantastic job of answering all the questions you might have after exploring a bit of history yourself.
Easily five out of five stars.