Destined For War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap?

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HarperCollins, May 30, 2017 - Political Science - 400 pages
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NATIONAL BESTSELLER | NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR. From an eminent international security scholar, an urgent examination of the conditions that could produce a catastrophic conflict between the United States and China—and how it might be prevented.

China and the United States are heading toward a war neither wants. The reason is Thucydides’s Trap: when a rising power threatens to displace a ruling one, violence is the likeliest result. Over the past five hundred years, these conditions have occurred sixteen times; war broke out in twelve.

At the time of publication, an unstoppable China approached an immovable America, and both Xi Jinping and Donald Trump promised to make their countries “great again,” the seventeenth case was looking grim—it still is. A trade conflict, cyberattack, Korean crisis, or accident at sea could easily spark a major war.

In Destined for War, eminent Harvard scholar Graham Allison masterfully blends history and current events to explain the timeless machinery of Thucydides’s Trap—and to explore the painful steps that might prevent disaster today.

SHORT-LISTED FOR THE 2018 LIONEL GELBER PRIZE
NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY: FINANCIAL TIMES * THE TIMES (LONDON)* AMAZON

“Allison is one of the keenest observers of international affairs around.” — President Joe Biden

“[A] must-read book in both Washington and Beijing.” — Boston Globe

“[Full of] wide-ranging, erudite case studies that span human history . . . [A] fine book.”— New York Times Book Review
 

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User Review  - hhornblower - LibraryThing

An excellent overview of what happens when one state declines and another rises. It's books like these that made me wish I would have stuck with Political Science in college. Read full review

Contents

LESSONS FROM HISTORY
25
A GATHERING STORM
87
WHY WAR IS NOT INEVITABLE
185
Back Matter
232
Back Flap
365
Back Cover
366
Spine
367
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About the author (2017)

GRAHAM ALLISON is director of Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and the best-selling author of LeeKuan Yew: The Grand Master's Insights on China, the United States, and the World; Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe; and Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis. Founding dean of the Harvard Kennedy School, Dr. Allison has served as Assistant Secretary of Defense and advised the secretaries of defense under every president from Reagan to Obama. He lives in Belmont, Massachusetts.

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