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The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers
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3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich.
am 16. September 1998
This review is, perhaps, best characterized as a response to Won Joon Choe's review. Choe makes several good points about two of the weaknesses in Kennedy's argument. His central thesis that imperial overreach leads to the decline of an empire, and he sees the U.S. in state of relative decline. Choe points out that Kennedy should not rely so heavily on his analogy between the U.S.' current position and Britian's former position in the world. Choe also points out that the U.S. has not relinquished and will not relinquish its global primacy for the foreseeable future. These two criticisms of Kennedy's book are valid, in my opinion. However, this is not to say that Kennedy is entirely wrong. I think it is more useful to construe Kennedy's work as attempt to work through the fine details of why empires arise in the first place and some of the possible reasons why they may tumble. In fact, to assert that imperial overreach is "the" reason why empires fall is also an oversimplification of Kennedy's argument. It is possible that the U.S. is in a state of relative decline and may lose its global preeminence-in an hundred years or more. Only time will be able to confirm or disprove Kennedy's work. And Choe should be wary about quickly jumping on the Fukuyama bandwagon. Fukuyama's conception of the triumph of liberalism is far too premature to even begin asserting, though it is an evocative thought. The central thesis to his book is far more difficult to hold than Kennedy's.
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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich.
Short-short in English: provoking theory in 1988, seemingly "refuted" in the 1990s with a US towering the playfield. With George W Bush violently overstretching the US capacity, Kennedy might have become again an accurate description of a possible trend in the 2000s. Detailed examples from European history and statistics are included all the way within the 700+ pages. ... Well, and now going on in German:

Kennedy (Paul) rüttelte mitten in den letzten Zügen des Kalten Kriegs, 1988, die USA auf: ähnlich wie für Großbritannien sei der Abstieg der Supermacht USA irgendwann fällig. Langsamer, sicher, aber eine imperiale Überdehnung sei irgendwann unvermeidlich.

Natürlich betreibt Paul Kennedy hier einen Analogieschluss: alle ab 1500 behandelten Imperien hat es erwischt, wie Kennedy ausführlich historisch darlegt. Also warum nicht auch die Vereinigten Staaten? Der Titel und die These sind natürlich eine Kopie seines "Aufstiegs und Falls der britischen Seeherrschaft": Man baut ein Imperium auf, doch die Kosten, es zu erhalten, steigen immer stärker an, weil andere nachdrängen und Koalitionen der Gierigen schmieden - und wirtschaftliche Vorsprünge nicht ewig herrschen. Zuviel Rüstung unterminiert die wirtschaftliche Gesundheit, was den Abstieg dann noch beschleunigt. Kennedy liefert sehr viele Statistiken, doch bleibt letztlich ein Militärhistoriker, der Völkerrecht, Kultur, Attraktivität von Lebensstilen/ Einfluss etc. nicht wirklich sieht, sondern Kanonen und auch Schweinehälften zählt. Das macht es zum einen interessant, zum anderen wäre da ein Weg, über Kennedy hinauszugehen.

Ein weiterer Punkt: Kennedy war Regierungs-Pflichtlektüre unter Clinton. Die Theorie beeinflusste so die Praxis, und der Kassandraruf wurde (zunächst) widerlegt. Auch Clinton spielte zuweilen den Militaristen-Jingo, achtete jedoch extrem auf die Wirtschaftsbasis - auch wenn seine Prognose zunächst darunter litt, Kennedy wird es wohl gefreut haben ...
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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich.
am 24. April 1998
Theories of historical causation and events must be accepted as just that - theories. Paul Kennedy's book is an outstanding rendering and in-depth examination of an econocentric historical world view. While there is obviously much to be critisized by many, the history of international politics demonstrates that his cold, hard, statistical basis for events in the history of strategic balancing are not far from the truth. Prof. Kennedy's lectures and seminars at Yale have sparked much debate there, notably in terms of the contrast of his econocentric views with those of ancient Greek historian and classicist, Prof. Donald Kagan, whose analysis of the origins of war (another great book) centers on the more human emotions of fear and honor in driving conflict. Whichever of these two views you adhere to, proper historical study demands that all theories be examined and either accepted or refuted on the basis of their arguments. Accordingly, I highly recommend Prof. Kennedy's book and his others relating to British Naval History for their elegantly precise mastery of the mechanisms behind the economic motives leading to war and peace.
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5 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich.
am 21. Juli 2000
Paul Kennedy's "Rise and Fall of the Great Powers" is partially a victim of the unexpected end of the Cold War. Published in 1987, Kennedy was trying to sound the alarm that a great power such as the United States puts its future economic livelyhood at stake when its defense costs become too burdonsome. In the case of the Soviet Union Kennedy was right on the money, so to speak. But the American economy has proven much more resiliant than anyone might have expected during the 80s. Kennedy's book is best read today for its account of how innovation as the result of constant warfare helped propel the West to supremacy in the world. Overall, this is a vital political science book that was required reading for a foreign policy class at my university ten years ago. I should check back to find out if it still is.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich.
am 19. August 1999
A book containing references to probably every major or minor political and economical event that occured between 1500 and 1990 would normally require its readers to have a degree in history so they could appreciate it, yet the author manages to make this one understandable by people who have a minimal knowledge in the field. Makes you see the world differently, more as a continuum of events rather than as isolated events happening at random through time. I would have given it five stars had it been easier to read and lighter, but then again, it's not the author's fault that I don't have his knowledge of history!
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am 9. Februar 1999
Professor Kennedy's book provides an very good account of the rise of Western military, economic, and political supremacy since the early 1500s, and shows how the all the "Great Powers" have, in some form or another, suffered from the same fate. He clearly illustrates how 'imperial overstretch' has historically affected a nation's or an empire's capacity to maintain its control over large territories and overseas possession, and his book shows how economic and industrial might are positively correlated with military strenght and political influence. His comparison between Britain's imperial decline and the subsequent gradual decline experienced by the United States in both the military and economic arenas, should serve as a clear warning to our leaders and policymakers in Washington and Corporate America. As American economic and military supremacy becomes increasingly challenged in various regions of the world, and its manufacturing base continues to erode, thus limiting its capacity to wage a massive war in an industrial scale (as in WWII) to defend its vital interests; Prof. Kennedy's revelations in "The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers" become more and more relevant.
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am 19. November 1997
Like almost all of military historians, professor Kennedy sometimes thinks all that happens in the world is due to militar power. Sometimes his analysis has flaws that we can clearly detect. Apart from the critics, it is also awesome that someone nowadays sits down to write the history of the world since 1500! That's something great, and we're lacking people who does that. It is definetely a book worth reading.
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1 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich.
am 14. Januar 2000
Rating history books is difficult because no author can ever explain what happened and why to everyones satisfaction. That is simply the nature of history, it is open for interpretation. So the most important thing to me about a book is if it gets me to think and consider other possibilities. This book met that criteria. Its premise is founded on economics and the balance between guns and butter. Basically the author claims that the rise and fall of all great powers has been the result of relative economic strength and how that economic strength was utilized. The book is well researched and written and makes a convincing case for the authors position. But is does make certain assumptions and generalizes some aspects of interaction between great powers that makes its premise debatable. However it is a fine piece of work and I would reccommend it to any student of history as an excellent primer. This book will make you think and even if you reject the author's thesis it is a great vehicle for helping to develop your own ideas.
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0 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich.
am 6. April 1999
Simply put I felt Kennedy's work was an in depth perspective, using historical evidence to support the adage, "How the Rise and Fall of Empires and People don't change, only the names and places do. You could write the same analogy 1000 years from now, and be in the black. But for those who need to wonder and reference on where we came from, how we got here, and where we are probably headed, Kennedy augments the paradigm of our species,ie.,the struggle for power, how to achieve it, keep it, and squander it. Put another way,the mechanics and dynamics of Machivelli's Prince, is as applicable today, as it was in 1513. Good reference material for doing an historical analysis. Robert
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0 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich.
am 26. Juli 2013
The turbulent rise and fall of the varying 'Great Powers' of Western and Central Europe after 500 A.D. to 2000 A.D. is placed in an intriguing economic and then military context. His ideas of strategic overreach or strategic overstrech and then imperial overstretch have much to be recommend and considered.His book should be read in conjunction with Eric Wolf, 1982. Europe and the People Without History. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London, University of California Press.
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