America: the game is up

Michael Cox on a work charting a superpower’s decline

The World Today Updated 9 November 2020 Published 27 September 2018 3 minute READ

Empire in Retreat: The Past, Present Future of the United States
Victor Bulmer-Thomas, Yale University Press £25

One of Britain’s most important Latin American experts, and a former Director of Chatham House, has finally dipped his toes into North American waters and composed a splendid volume.

This is a book which is bound to be read and should be read; but also one likely to upset those readers who have a more heroic view of the rise of the United States than Bulmer-Thomas.

Even the title is likely to annoy a few people, not only those who avoid the word ‘empire’ when talking about the United States, but people who don’t believe it is going the way of Rome.

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