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When Athens went to war with Sparta some 2,500 years ago, the Greek historian Thucydides identified one simple cause: A rising power threatened to displace a ruling one. As the eminent Harvard scholar Graham Allison explains, in the past 500 years, great powers have found themselves in "Thucydides's Trap" 16 times. In 12 of the 16 - from war between the French and the Habsburgs in the 16th century to the two world wars of the 20th - the results have been catastrophic. Today, the same structural forces propel China and the United States toward a cataclysm of unseen proportions, even as both sides insist that such a war could never occur.
In Destined for War, Allison compares the US-China conflict to its closest parallel: World War I. There, a rising Germany threatened the supremacy of the British Empire. He sketches several scenarios in which America and China might slide, against their intent and better judgment, into a similar conflict. But he also examines the rare instances when two clashing powers have avoided disaster. Can our current standoff be one of those exceptions? Allison's answer is essential listening for our age and ages to come.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Joyce U. Olewe on 10-09-17
Balances, Counter-Balances and Traps
Great book. was a recommendation for class reading. glad I did. It proved to illuminate and portray in concrete terms the seemingly abstract theories of International Relations.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
By Sterform Mckinley on 05-16-18
The subject matter in this book was perfectly explained and detailed in it's delivery of facts to form an educated thought. It flowed seamlessly throughout Time granting me access to Wars and complications well before my time. I thoroughly enjoyed it.