Is This The End of the American Century?

This site features updates, analysis, discussion and comments related to the theme of my book published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2008 (hardbound) and 2009 (paperbound).

The Book

The End of the American Century documents the interrelated dimensions of American social, economic, political and international decline, marking the end of a period of economic affluence and world dominance that began with World War II. The war on terror and the Iraq War exacerbated American domestic weakness and malaise, and its image and stature in the world community. Dynamic economic and political powers like China and the European Union are steadily challenging and eroding US global influence. This global shift will require substantial adjustments for U.S. citizens and leaders alike.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Kolko's "The World in Crisis"

The American revisionist historian Gabriel Kolko has published a new book, The World in Crisis, with a subtitle that is the same as my book, The End of the American Century. The book is a collection of essays, written since 2004, most of which have appeared in print or online though often, according to the author, revised and updated for this publication. The common theme is "the decline of American power, the limits of its military technology, and the end of a century in which the United States had the pretension to lead the world." (p. 3).

These themes are similar to those of my own book, and Kolko concludes, as I do, that America's "century of domination is now ending." But there are substantial differences as well. First of all, while Kolko's first two chapters address America's financial crisis, the clear focus of the book is on America's foreign policy and global role. In The End of the American Century, I see the roots of America's decline as much in the domestic arena as in the global one, though they are closely linked. Secondly, Kolko sees the decline of American power beginning very early--as early as the Korean War in the 1950s, whereas I see the decline beginning in the 1970s, and mostly as a result of domestic factors: especially growing consumerism, individualism, poverty, inequality and debt.

Kolko's book is World in Crisis: The End of the American Century, published by Pluto Press in 2009.

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