The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000
Vintage Books, 1989 - Business & Economics - 677 pages
With 200,000 hardcover copies in print, this book has received worldwide attention. Kennedy explains how the various world powers have risen and fallen over the five centuries since the formation of the "new monarchies" in Western Europe.
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In addition , the steady increases in European commerce , especially in essential
products such as cloth and naval stores , together with the tendency for the
seasonal fairs of medieval Europe to be replaced by permanent centers of
On the one hand , there were the western democracies , especially in the
Englishspeaking world , recoiling from the horror of the First World War ,
concentrating upon domestic ( especially socioeconomic ) issues , and massively
reducing their ...
Technological innovations , and Soviet advances especially , changed all that .
Russia ' s successful explosion of an atomic device in 1949 ( well before most
western estimates had predicted ) broke the American monopoly . More alarming
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The rise and fall of the great powers: economic change and military conflict from 1500 to 2000User Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Yale historian Kennedy surveys the ebb and flow of power among the major states of Europe from the 16th centurywhen Europe's preeminence first took shapethrough and beyond the present erawhen great ... Read full review
Learning from History, July 19, 2003
Kennedy chronicles the rise of the Great Powers starting with the Ming Dynasty in China and taking us all the way to the contemporary times of the 1980s.
By analyzing world history through the prisms of economical, political, and military status of each great rising power, Kennedy fuses a theory of why certain countries throughout history (1500-present) rose to be regional or world powers and why they later collapsed.
As the other reviewers noted, Kennedy's book falls short of accurately predicting the changes that were to follow the publication date of his book (fall of Russia, Asian market crises). Nevertheless this book is a valuable historical resource.
The Rise of the Western World
World Power Centers in the Sixteenth Century
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