Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance—and Why They Fall

Amy Chua, Author . Doubleday $26 (396p) ISBN 978-0-385-51284-8

Chua (World on Fire ), a Yale law professor and daughter of immigrants, examines a number of “world-dominant” powers—a none too rigorously defined group that lumps together the Persian, Roman, Mongol and British empires with the contemporary United States—and argues that tolerance and multiculturalism are indispensable features of global economic and military success. Such “hyperpowers” rise, Chua argues, because their tolerance of minority cultures and religions, their receptivity to foreign ideas and their willingness to absorb and empower talented provincials and immigrants lets them harness the world's “human capital.” Conversely, hyperpowers decline when their assimilative capacities falter and they lapse into intolerance and exclusion. The sexy concept of a world-dominant hyperpower, in addition to being somewhat erratic—the smallish Dutch Republic makes the cut, while the far-flung (but inconveniently intolerant) Spanish empire doesn't—is doubtful when examining an America that can hardly dominate Baghdad and not much more convincing when applied to earlier hegemons. Chua does offer an illuminating survey of the benefits of tolerance and pluralism, often as a tacit brief for maintaining America's generous immigration policies. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 09/24/2007
Release date: 10/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 282 pages - 978-0-307-47245-8
Paperback - 432 pages - 978-1-4000-7741-0
Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-385-52412-4
Show other formats
Discover what to read next