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

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

by Graham Allison

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“Allison is one of the keenest observers of international affairs around.”— JOE BIDEN, former vice president of the United States
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. Today, as an unstoppable China approaches an immovable America, and both Xi Jinping and Donald Trump promise to make their countries “great again,” the seventeenth case looks grim. 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.
“[A] must-read book in both Washington and Beijing.”— NIALL FERGUSON, BOSTON GLOBE
“[Allison is] a first-class academic with the instincts of a first-rate politician.”— BLOOMBERG NEWS
“[Full of] wide-ranging, erudite case studies that span human history . . . [A] fine book.”— NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780544935334
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication date: 05/30/2017
Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 88,149
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

GRAHAM ALLISON is director of Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and a best-selling author. Founding dean of the Kennedy School of Government, he has advised the secretaries of defense under Reagan, Clinton, and Obama.
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.

Table of Contents

Preface vii

Introduction xi

Part 1 The Rise Of China

1 "The Biggest Player in the History of the World" 3

Part 2 Lessons From History

2 Athens vs. Sparta 27

3 Five Hundred Years 41

4 Britain vs. Germany 55

Part 3 A Gathering Storm

5 Imagine China Were Just Like Us 89

6 What Xi's China Wants 107

7 Clash of Civilizations 133

8 From Here to War 154

Part 4 Why War Is Not Inevitable

9 Twelve Clues for Peace 187

10 Where Do We Go from Here? 214

Conclusion 232

Acknowledgments 241

Appendix 1 Thucydides's Trap Case File 244

Appendix 2 Seven Straw Men 287

Notes 289

Index 349

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Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap? 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Pet-48 More than 1 year ago
I wasn't sure I agreed that similar instances discussed in the first third of the book were applicable to the US versus China. But, I found the second third of the book particularly interesting. The reasons the US could end up in a conflict with China were ideas I have been thinking about over a long period of time.