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Preparing for the Twenty-First Century

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DSC01745Paul Kennedy. Fontana Press, London 1993. Tapa Blanda, 428 Págs. ISBN 0006862985. Estado: Muy Bueno.

Kennedy’s groundbreaking book The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers helped to reorder the current priorities of the United States. Now, he synthesizes extensive research on fields ranging from demography to robotics to draw a detailed, persuasive, and often sobering map of the very near future–a bold work that bridges the gap between history, prophecy, and policy.

The most significant book on international affairs published in the late 1980s was Paul Kennedy’s The Rise and Fall of The Great Powers. The magnum opus of a distinguished diplomatic and strategic historian, it was also the exemplary statement of what some critics termed the «declinist» school, which pointed to signs that the United States might be following in the downward path that Britain had taken a century before.

Now, a half-decade later, we have Kennedy’s new book, Preparing for The Twenty-First Century, a work not so much of history but of prophecy. It is likely to be seen by critics as carrying declinism to its logical conclusion, as a work not about the rise and fall of great powers but about the decline and fall of practically everybody. Indeed its conclusion could be simplified: the great global changes underway are likely to weaken all nation states and steadily impoverish most of humanity. In fact, however, Kennedy meant for both his books to provide suggestions to nations, particularly the United States, and to their political leaders about how to avoid the worst. (Foreign Affairs).

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