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Is the American Century Over?


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Table of Contents


Chapter 1 The Creation of the American Century

Chapter 2 Is America in Decline?

Chapter 3 Challengers and Relative Decline

Chapter 4 The Rise of China

Chapter 5 Absolute Decline: Is the U.S. Like Rome?

Chapter 6 Power Shifts and Global Complexity

Chapter 7 Conclusions

Further Reading


About the Author

Joseph S.Nye, Jr. is University Distinguished ServiceProfessor and former dean of the Harvard Kennedy School ofGovernment


"With his usual clarity and insight, Joe Nye gives us afascinating analysis of the complexities of power, exploring hardand soft power, state and non-state actors, and how to retainleadership once domination is over. European readers have much tolearn from the U.S. experience and its lessons for the evolution ofthe EU." Mario Monti, Prime Minister of Italy (2011 13)and President of Bocconi University "The future of American power is the great question of ourcentury. No-one is better equipped than Joe Nye to answerit." Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft, USAF (Ret.), formerPresidential National Security Advisor "This calm, reflective, and thoughtful antidote to alarm aboutAmerican decline displays Nye's astonishing capacity to engage withthe full range of challenges to American leadership." Michael Ignatieff, Harvard Kennedy School "In this timely, compact book, Joe Nye makes a 'powerful' casefor the continuation of American primacy through diplomacy andco-operation. This strategy would not be overstretch orretrenchment but instead the application of American Exceptionalismto shrewd power." Robert B. Zoellick, former President of the WorldBank Group, US Trade Representative and US Deputy Secretary ofState "The irreversibility of American decline is no longer a given.Joe Nye's compelling analysis shows that the future of theinternational order, and the respective roles of the US and Chinawithin it, will be shaped by a range of core domestic and foreignpolicy choices, rather than by some overwhelming, determinist,historical force that has somehow already decided the "natural"dimensions, depth and duration of American power. The history ofnations, as Joe Nye rightly asserts, is a more dynamic process thanthat." Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia "Joe Nye is always worth reading - objective without beingaloof, insightful without lecturing. Our disordered world needsanswers to the challenges posed here." David Miliband, UK Foreign Secretary 2007-2010 "Nye's masterful analysis shows the defenders of America'scontinued primacy how to make their most credible case whileforcing the declinists to engage with its arguments, and evenrethink their assumptions." Amitav Acharya, American University and author ofThe End of American World Order "In this tour de force Joe Nye proves that smart books about bigideas are best served in small packages: and if you are looking forone volume to read on a topic about which so much nonsense has beenwritten since the disaster that was the Bush administration, thisis the one to go for. Balanced, accessible, informed - but aboveall, wise - Nye demonstrates once more why he continues toinfluence the way we all think about the world." Michael Cox, LSE IDEAS "Joe Nye's clear-eyed analysis makes a very compelling case thatthe 'American century' is far from over, even though with a lesspreponderant America and a more complex world, its next chapterwill look different. It s not the sexiest argument. Bututterly convincing." Wolfgang Ischinger, Chairman of the Munich SecurityConference and former German Ambassador to the United States "Joe Nye's clear eyed assessments of America's place in theworld have set the terms of the debate for more than a quartercentury. This important book updates Nye's thinking and is animmensely valuable corrective to the pessimism and the complacencythat are all too common in debates about America's future." Lawrence H. Summers, Harvard University

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