The Fate of Nations: The Search for National Security in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries / Edition 1

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The Fate of Nations identifies and illustrates the basic varieties of security policy, as well as re-interpreting six well-documented historical episodes: Great Britain and the nineteenth century balance of power system; France between the two world wars; The United States during the Cold War; China from the Communist victory in 1949 to 1976; Israel from the founding of the state in 1948 to the peace treaty with Egypt in 1979; Japan and the international economic order after 1945. Professor Mandelbaum shows that, while no state is wholly restricted by its position in the international system, neither is any entirely free from external constraints. He concludes that in this century, national security policies have been more prudent, even when unsuccessful, than they often retrospectively have been judged.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Mandelbaum's book is brilliant and enjoyable...[he] charts how nations find ways of acting together in diplomatically organized groups for defensive purposes, and he analyzes certain countries' specific roles and histories. His knowledge of philosophy, politics, history and economics results in a stunning delineation of centuries of military actions, political maneuverings and cultural uprisings." Publishers Weekly

"...the book displays a powerful analytic ability and is well worth reading." Naval War College Review

"...thoughtful, stimulating, and enjoyable to read. Its breadth is commendable and points the way towards much needed holistic and multidisciplinary thinking about the international system." Barry Buzan, University of Warwick, in International Journal

"This book is a tour de force. Michael Mandelbaum, an authority on the impact of the nuclear weapon on the contemporary world, has produced a synoptic history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries through the experiences of six developed nations with the problem of national security." Lawrence S. Kaplan, American Historical Review

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Scholars and lay students of history and politics should not be deterred by the apparent vagueness of the topichow nations protect themselves within existing international systems of powerbecause Mandelbaum's book is brilliant and enjoyable. The author of The Nuclear Future et al., an international relations expert, charts how nations find ways of acting together in diplomatically organized groups for defensive purposes, and he analyzes certain countries' specific roles and histories. His knowledge of philosophy, politics, history and economics results in a stunning delineation of centuries of military actions, political maneuverings and cultural uprisings. Some of the cases he examines include: Britain's position in the 19th century European balance of power; China's weak international role following the Communist revolution; America's superiority after 1945; and Japan's current emergence as a world force in the free-trade system. Major matters addressed are how nations' domestic characters affect their foreign policies, and the issue of to what extent governments control their destinies in an international power structure. Mandelbaum's achievement here deserves attention, praise, argument and analysis. (October)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521357906
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments; A note on sources and citations; Introduction; 1. Collective approaches to security: the nineteenth-century managed balance of power system and Great Britain; 2. France, 1919–40: the failure of security policy; 3. The United States, 1945–80: the natural history of a great power; 4. China, 1949–76: the strategies of weakness; 5. Israel, 1948–79: the hard choices of the security dilemma; 6. Collective approaches: the international economic order and Japan, 1945–85; Index.

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