The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000

Paul M. Kennedy, Author Random House (NY) $24.95 (677p) ISBN 978-0-394-54674-2
Kennedy, a history professor at Yale, here assesses the interaction between economics and strategy over the past five centuries; the correlation between productive and revenue-sharing capacities on the one hand and military strength on the other. The book is a vigorous entry in the debate over the extent to which national wealth should be used for military purposes. It reveals, for instance, how the Hapsburg monarchs overextended themselves in repeated conflicts, becoming militarily top-heavy while their economic base dwindled, an imbalance that ultimately proved fatal. In a final section, Kennedy explores the implications of today's economic and technological trends in relation to the balance of military power, and the problems and opportunities in this regard facing China, Japan, the European Economic Community, the Soviet Union and the United States. (January 25)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1987
Release date: 12/01/1987
Hardcover - 978-0-517-05100-9
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