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Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance--and Why They Fall (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 6. Januar 2009

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“Clear-eyed and hard-headed. . . . Chua writes with a wry, breezy wit, giving her analysis a lively accessibility.” —The Los Angeles Times“Extraordinary. . . . An incredibly ambitious book, but Chua is up to the task.” —Times Literary Supplement“Convincing [and] timely. . . . Chua's lively writing makes her case studies interesting in themselves.” —The Washington Post“Takes up the challenge of 'Big History' [with] an almost Toynbeean sweep. . . . [Day of Empire] has a chance of becoming a classic.” —Paul Kennedy, Foreign Affairs

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Amy Chua is the John Duff Jr. Professor of Law at Yale Law School. She is the author of World on Fire and is a noted expert in the fields of international business, ethnic conflict, and globalization. She lives in New Haven, Connecticut, with her husband and two daughters.

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128 von 137 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Interesting Ideas - inadequately fleshed out 26. Dezember 2007
Von Bernard Kwan - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
My biggest complaint about this book is that it is almost like a term paper that has been expanded into a book. Some of the other reviews have done a good job about summarizing the argument so I will be brief, so as not to recover ground that has already been covered.

Her basic thesis is that (1) hyperpowers fail because they become intolerant, thus excluding the skills and contributions of some of their most promising minorities, causing these minorities to emmigrate and enrich their rivals, and in extreme cases causing these minorities to revolt and overthrow the hyperpower;(2) successful hyperpowers have a "glue" that binds its members together, in the form of a shared idea or citizenship and she cites the Roman Empire and the British Empire have been successful at this generating this idea of citizenship that its members have aspired towards. The United States has a strong glue that binds its citizens through a shared ideaology but because it is a democracy it cannot extend this citizenship to other nations as they will then have vote in how it is governed, thereby excluding other nations from what makes it successful.

Both these ideas are extremely interesting and could provide much fodder for in depth analysis. Unfortunately she aims for breath over depth and leaves me unconvinced. For instance when dealing with a massive subject such as the fall of the Roman Empire she spends a paragraph dealing with alternative explanations for the fall, but then quickly cuts to her major argument that the intolerance of a Christian Rome was a significant factor in the subsequent decline. This approach would be acceptable were it to provide penetrating insights, or pertinent anecdotes, or little know facts or figures to bolster her argument. Unfortunately it ends up as a summary of other people's work and only a few people at that.

If one were to look at the footnotes on that one chapter, she cuts many paragraphs from J.E. Roberts History of the World (not even a History of the Roman Empire - but a general history!), a chapter here and there from Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, a number of journal articles. This criticism via footnotes may seem a little unkind but when one sees the copious bibliography of Paul Kennedy's Rise and Fall of the Great Powers or Diamond's Guns Germs and Steel, whihc are books in the same genre, then we might feel slightly short changed by Ms. Chua's lack of preparation.

My second gripe is the lack of facts that advance her argument. They are dry as a bone and rare as hen's teeth. One example is in her chapter about the rise of Holland as a world power. She talks in most of the chapter about the Jews fleeing to Holland and bringing their skills because of the inquisition but there are no real statistics to describe this phenomenon except that the population of Holland's Cities grew very quickly. Then there are a few sentences about how the Dutch East India Company which was one of the key factors in opening up new markets and Dutch commercial success was mainly funded, not by Jews but by Protestants fleeing persecution in France and Spain. One waits for more development of the role of Protestants but it is left hanging and not visited again.

My final gripe is that Ms. Chua is always seeking to insert personal anecdotes into the book when it is not always necessary. The fact that she is of Filipno Chinese and grew up in the US is of peripheral interest to the book. She tries to tie this argument into the fact that Chinese have this "glue" which binds overseas Chinese to the motherland. Sometimes it reads like a bad university application essay - she complains that her parents made her bring Chinese food to school when she wanted to eat hot dogs. She also complained that her parents wanted her to go to Berkeley but she rebelled and went to Harvard instead. Her parents came as immigrants and worked very hard. I am extremely against this kind of writing as it feigns an understanding of "Chineseness" and identity just by virtue of her birth and perpetuates all the stereotypes of Asian Americans making it harder for others to break out of that mould (I am Malaysian Chinese and grew up in the UK and studied in the US and ran up against these very stereotypes). Also such lack of humility by advertising which school she attended and how, though a Professor of Law, is somehow an "expert" in International Relations is not a very "Chinese" trait.

So I return to my original argument that the book should have been kept as a short piece. A short book like Robert Kagan's "Of Paradise and Power" can still be extremely thought provoking and influential, and ultimately more effective. But when the publisher is dangling the big check and there is a strict delivery deadline I guess writing a long one is difficult to refuse.
84 von 97 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Tolerance & Human Capital = The Successful Glue For Hyperpowers? 30. April 2008
Von SUPPORT THE ASPCA. - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
First it must be stated that the author is a lawyer & not a professional historian, so take her thesis & my overly positive review with a grain of salt.

The author compares hyperpowers of the past to those who almost were as well as to the contemporary ones. Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan & the former Soviet Union are some examples. The book is divided into three parts with four chapters in each. "Part- 1 Ch1, The Tolerance Of Barbarians. Ch-1, The First Hegemon-Achemenid Persia. Ch-2, Tolerance In Rome's High Empire. Ch-3, China's Golden Age. Ch-4, The Great Mongol Empire.Part-2 The Enlightening Of Tolerance Ch-5, The Purification Of Medieval Spain. Ch-6, The Dutch World Empire. Ch-7, Tolerance & Intolerance In The East. Ch-8, The British Empire.Part-3 The Future Of World Dominance. Ch-9, The American Hyperpower. Ch-10, The Rise & Fall Of The Axis Powers. Ch-11, The Challengers. Ch-12, The Day Of Empire." I would read this chapter first & then the whole book.
In short the hyperpowers of Persia, Rome, Tang dynasty China, the Mongols, the Dutch, the British, & the USA in different ways & for various lengths of time were the most successful & influential in history. While Ming China, & the empires of Spain & the Ottoman Turks were "might have beens as far as hyperpowers go." The former do to its isolationism, & the latter two do to their varying degrees of intolerance, the suppression of knowledge, & lack of a home grown innovative & commercial class. Both of these constantly had to hire foreigner merchants & bankers to keep their economies going. They also often had to hire foreigners to help build their navies since their own technology was often stagnant. The irony that the Jews & Arabs who were brutally expelled from Spain, would eventually reinvigorate the Ottomans. Who would later foil Spain's aspirations of conquering both North africa & the middle east was a true case of "reaping what you sowed."

Although not mentioned by the author, I recommend everyone read Donald Matthew's "The Norman Kingdom Of Sicily," because it was a multi-ethnic & religious state that had the tolerance & innovative populations that Miss Chua focuses on.

As for the USA, our success has been our unrivalled ability to attract & retain enterprising immigrants & our ability to assimilate people from various races & nationalities into being Americans. But, today , concerns about uncontrolled illegal immigration & job outsourcing has produced a backlash against our tradition of "cultural openess." She asks has the USA hit a tipping point?" Have we gone overboard with our tolerance & diversity to the point that our national unity & cohesion are falling apart?

Could other rising powers like India, China, or the European Union eventually surpass the USA? As for the former she states. India is far more interested in becoming partners with the USA rather than rivals. Also, despite its recent economic strides it has 17% of the worlds population yet, it produces only 2% of the global GDP. India also has huge internal conflicts between Hindus & Muslims, etc. The interviews on pages 309-10 speaks volumes as to why the USA is so appealing to Indian people.

The EU also has multiple problems to contend with. The EU's tolerance is inwardly based, not outwardly. The EU's growing inability to absorb & assimilate often hostile Muslim immigrants, a rapidly aging & decreasing population, slow economic growth, & the most talented sectors of their popultion wishing to emigrate to the USA makes it unlikely that it can challenge the USA in the forseeable future.
China, with very rare exceptions has been one of the most xenophobic, misogynistic, & ethnocentric societies in history. In various ways it is the polar opposite of the USA's being a pluralistic immigrant society. China still has a huge cultural gap between north & south, deep levels of corruption, an ever growing gap between the rich & poor, & most of its human capital remains uneducated. With the bulk of the education system itself discouraging innovative thinking. Like India it also has eighty to one hundred million more men than women, {something the author left out}. Intruigingly 85% of Chinese students studying in the USA never return to China.

In the authors opinion, the USA on some level has exceeded its limits & why we would be better off dropping the neo-cons "go-it alone tactics," & promote a new multilateralism in both domestic & foreign policy strategy. For her, multilateralism is not a surrender for the USA, it is an opportunity. Other countries should get more involved in helping solve the worlds problems rather than them expecting the USA to lead all the time. I found pages 9, 23-6, 31-40, 43-6, 54-8, 81-7, 121-4, 130, 134-7, 158-67, 176-8, 181-2, 189-91, 223-9, 242, 254-5, 268-9, 282-3, 323-8, 337-44 to be the most crucial for any readers. One flaw is she has only 37 pages of sources, which is scant for a history thesis of this magnitude. Nonetheless, I found both her thesis & presentation to be very informative.
56 von 64 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
The Secret to Hyperpower Success 12. November 2007
Von Izaak VanGaalen - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Amy Chua is a professor of law at Yale Law School, but it seems that her true passion is history. In her previous book, World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability, she did a series of case studies on market-dominant minorities and the countries in which they reside. As these countries transitioned to democracy, the minorities became targets of resentment and even violence. It was an original work showing some of the adverse consequences of rapid democratization.

This new work is equally original. Now she has done a series of studies on history's hyperpowers, and how they achieved that status. Surprisingly, the key to achieving hyperpower success is not brute force and imposition of a monoculture, but tolerance and acceptance of other cultures. And, on the downside, if this diversity is not properly managed, it will lead to the hyperpower's decline.

The hyperpowers studied are a diverse group. They include Achaemenid Persia, Rome's High Empire, Tang China, Genghis Khan's Mongol Empire, the Ottoman and Mughal Empires, the Spanish, Dutch, British, and American Empires. With such a varied list, critics will pounce and demand a sharper definition of terms. Professional historians will be quick to point out novice mistakes.

First the term hyperpower. By this term, Chua means not merely a great power or a superpower, but a world-dominant power. A power that amassed such military and economic strength that no other power on earth could challenge it. Achaemenid Persia ruled over 1/3 of the world's population, the Mongols under Genghis Khan conquered half the known world, Rome conquered most of the known world, and the British had an empire on which the sun never set. It should also be noted that all hyperpowers were technologically dominant giving them the economic and military edge.

Tolerance is also a very broad term. Tolerance in today's Western democracies means something different than it did in the time of Cyrus the Great or Genghis Khan. For Chua, it means "letting very different kinds of people - regardless of ethnicity, religion, or skin color - live, work, and prosper, even if for instrumental or strategic reasons." This could be called a cynical or relative notion of tolerance. In ancient times it was more black and white: either pay tribute and allegiance or be killed. In modern times the notion is more fuzzy, more like: if you join the program, we can both benefit, if not we both suffer. Chua's notion of tolerance applies to both.

Towards the end of the book, Chua takes a look at the US as a hyperpower. She examines the anti-immigrant sentiments in the light of historical notions of tolerance. This is a bit of a muddle since foreigners volutarily entering the US are different from peoples conquered in their own lands. Nevertheless, the US has always had an excellent record on immigration and assimilation, of which Chua herself is a stellar example. She argues that current anti-immigrant and islolationist impulses will lead to US decline.

A little decline, she concedes, may not be such a bad thing. Deline from hyper to superpower, putting the US on a more equal footing with other great powers, will probably make the international system more balanced and, as a result, more secure. With no other hyperpowers currently on the horizon, and given a certain amount of US decline, it appears that the 21st century will be a multipolar and multilateral century.
14 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A book of tautologies 1. April 2010
Von Reader - Veröffentlicht auf
If you start out with the thesis that "hyperpowers" become that way only if they are "tolerant" in some respects, you can find data to fit your thesis for any empire that you choose to define as a "hyperpower," in the same way that you can find supposed characteristics of your astrological sign that fit your personality. You could equally well find opposing characteristics to prove the opposite thesis. Just as one example among many, for the "hyperpower" created by Alexander the Great, Chua finds "tolerance" in the fact that Alexander the Great married a bunch of his compatriots to Persian women (marriages that failed within a year), and that he took on the trappings of godhood from other cultures (more an indication of his megalomania and superstition than any sort of tolerance). She ignores his murders of friends and foe alike in his search for world domination. Law professors at places like Yale, most of whom have gotten the job solely by reason of a Supreme Court clerkship (not the case with Chua, who only had a court of appeals clerkship and does actually have a few years of experience being a lawyer), believe that the job appointment carries with it a stamp of approval as to their intellectual prowess that qualifies them to opine on any topic. Chua has neither the mindset nor the skills of a historian; her tautologies just won't do.
25 von 31 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A lot of Information regarding various Empires, but very few explanations. 13. November 2007
Von Patrick Sullivan - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I agree with Amy Chua`s idea, that social tolerance is a major building block of any successful society. This is true not just of great Empires, but of economically successful societies as well.
I was hoping to find reasons and explanations, that enable social tolerance. The other big question that is never addressed, why did these Empires become intolerant?
The material is presented as a list of historical facts, with very little insight as to why these events took place.
The material regarding England and Scotland did not even mention the Highland Clearances. This episode was the exact opposite of English tolerance.
She also mentions England voluntarily granted rights and liberties to it`s Canadian subjects in the 1840s. These granted rights were a direct result of an armed rebellion in Upper and Lower Canada. Even pacifist Quakers took up arms against British colonial rule in Upper Canada. This would not be an example of British tolerance.
In short I would say, that if your interested in a short summary of various Empires, this would be a great book. If you are looking for reasons why societies are tolerant, or why they they become intolerant, you will not find many answers in this book.
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