Great Powers and the Quest for Hegemony
The World Order since 1500
By Jeremy Black
Routledge – 2007 – 288 pages
Series: War, History and Politics
This timely book provides a general overview of Great Power politics and world order from 1500 to the present. Jeremy Black provides several historical case-studies, each of which throws light on both the power in question and the international system of the period, and how it had developed from the preceding period.
The point of departure for this book is Paul Kennedy’s 1988 masterpiece, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers. That iconic book, with its enviable mastery of the sources and its skilful integration of political, military and economic history, was a great success when it appeared and has justifiably remained important since. Written during the Cold War, however, Kennedy’s study was very much of its time in its consideration of the great powers in ‘Western’ terms, and its emphasis on economics. This book brings together strategic studies, international relations, military history and geopolitics to answer some of the contemporary questions left open by Professor Kennedy's great work, and also looks to the future of great power relations and of US hegemony.
Great Powers and the Quest for Hegemony will be of great interest to students of international relations, strategic studies and international history.
1. Introduction: The Kennedy Thesis Considered 2. Bids for Mastery, 1500-1590 3. Seventeenth-Century Crises, 1590-1680 4. The Rise of the Great Powers, 1680-1774 5. A Reshaped World, 1775-1860 6. Accelerated Change, 1860-1913 7. Bids for Power, 1914-1943 8. The Fall of Empires, 1944-1991 9. American Hegemony, 1991-2007? 10. Into the Future 11. Conclusions
Jeremy Black is Professor of History at the University of Exeter. A world-renowned authority in history and archives; he is the author of seventy books, including The British Seaborne Empire, Rethinking Military History and Introduction to Global Military History.