• Unrivaled

  • Why America Will Remain the World's Sole Superpower (Cornell Studies in Security Affairs)
  • By: Michael Beckley
  • Narrated by: Chris Monteiro
  • Length: 7 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Americas
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (123 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

The United States has been the world's dominant power for more than a century. Now, many analysts believe that other countries are rising and the United States is in decline. Is the unipolar moment over? Is America finished as a superpower?

In this book, Michael Beckley argues that the United States has unique advantages over other nations that, if used wisely, will allow it to remain the world's sole superpower throughout this century. We are not living in a transitional, post-Cold War era. Instead, we are in the midst of what he calls the unipolar era - a period as singular and important as any epoch in modern history. This era, Beckley contends, will endure because the US has a much larger economic and military lead over its closest rival, China, than most people think and the best prospects of any nation to amass wealth and power in the decades ahead.

Deeply researched and brilliantly argued, this book covers hundreds of years of great power politics and develops new methods for measuring power and predicting the rise and fall of nations. By documenting long-term trends in the global balance of power and explaining their implications for world politics, the book provides guidance for policymakers, business people, and scholars alike.

The book is published by Cornell Univesity Press.

"Should be part of any serious debate about where we are headed." (The New York Times)

"Smart and sophisticated." (Foreign Affairs)

"It will quickly become a classic in international security studies." (Keir Lieber, Georgetown University)

©2018 Cornell University (P)2019 Redwood Audiobooks

What listeners say about Unrivaled

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    4 out of 5 stars

Great Statistical Information!

This was a Very interesting book about the Statistical Strengths and Weaknesses of the United States amongst the World Powers. I found it very interesting.. There was much data and information that might not be a common consideration when thinking about the Balancing act that is Worldwide Power and Hegimony. It addressed some amazing points to explain why the US is such a successful and long lived Democracy, The Author opened up points that could in fact, make improvements. My only complaint was when the Author put his Personal opinions into the book, mostly the last chapter, and of course, that was his intention from the start. If I was reading it again, I would skip the last chapter entirely. I prefer to leave the thought processes to the Reader instead of conjecture. Alas, it was published by Cornell Press, so that would have been expected. As nothing from there comes away without that slanted opinion. The Narrator did a wonderful job with this. Kudos! This book was provided free of charge in exchange for a fair review. Thank You.

1 person found this helpful

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My new favorite book

Required reading for anyone interested in geopolitics, military strategy, or foreign relations. Noone living today will see a world in which the U.S. is no longer the sole superpower. Indeed, the gap between the U.S. and the next 7 most powerful nations -- China, Japan, Russia, Germany, U.K., France, and India -- will only widen in coming generations. Other geopolitical experts have hit similar themes when comparing the U.S. to China (e.g., Peter Zeihan), but Michael Beckley cogently explains these themes better than anyone. Zeihan goes deeper on energy and fracking issues, but Beckley goes deeper on military issues -- especially his discussion on China's outsized ambitions in the Spratly Islands and its (feckless) threats to invade Taiwan.

2 people found this helpful

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Great Book but Rough Narrator

I like the book. There's a lot of interesting points but man the narrator is rough. It sounds as though someone said every word in the dictionary and then edited it together to read a book with no regard for plot points, or pauses. Its...It's...not great.

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Interesting

I found this book plenty informative and based on hard data, not just subjective opinions.

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Good listen

Amazing facts about china’s weaknesses and strengths. I disagree with the conclusions about the US in the final chapter but the book is wonderful overall. I highly recommend for a good rebuttal to current unneeded escalating tensions between US and China today.

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Great insights, but annoying mispronunciations

Fantastic geopolitical insights, but the narrator didn't bother to learn to pronounce Chinese names like Xi Jinping. (X is pronounced "sh" in Chinese Pinyin orthography, not the zhj sound found in the middle of "measure". Mandarin Chinese lacks that sound.) Cringe-inducing mispronunciations of Chinese names made this book hard to enjoy.

Apart from the mispronunciations, the analysis was a refreshing counterpoint to conventional geopolitical reasoning. I recommend listening to this book.

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Gets annoyingly political

Pretty solid analysis that unfortunately becomes tainted when it diverts into politics that presupposes the basic premises of a leftwing narrative. I don’t recommend.

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Great research and analysis - Solutions iffy

Convincing (if accurate), in depth information and a joy to consume. The historical work is rich and compelling and many unobvious details that turn widely acceoted notions on their head. The bulk of the work is in this vein. The last chapter is where opinion reigns with little supporting evidence, however good to assert if just for the points to argue. The performance was professional enough, but having listened to the actual author in interviews, would rather have heard the work coming from his own mouth since he is the one owning the assertions and may have sounded less like a textbook and more like a personal work of scholarship.

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Essential for understanding true likelihood of war

the narrative we're told is that China will inevitably become THE world superpower. the story is more complicated, though. its belt and road, urban expansion, and modernization all require resources, both financial and human. demographics are not on the side of a soon-becoming national power nation state and money is always a concern with such multitudinous priorities.

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Facts and Stats

This is a data-heavy book that paints a convincing argument that the U.S. is significantly stronger than any of its rivals on many dimensions. I found it to be a nice break from the headlines and shallow news articles that are always heralding the rise of China or other powers. Read this and you’ll see that America is very strong and will remain that way for at least many decades into the future.

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  • Simon Gibson
  • 07-23-19

Obsessed With War

This is a factually accurate book, no disputing that, however it is obsessed with who will win a war against America. It misses the point that just about no nation on the planet has any intention of starting a war with the USA, it would be rather one sided. What countries like China want to do is defend their access to world trade. China is not cruising up and down the coasts of America or Europe in aircraft carrier centred battle groups or maintaining 500+ overseas military bases, as America. It is America who has sought regime changes around the world, that has intimidated countries, started wars based on untruths. These facts are hardly touched upon amongst the lists of who has the most of everything. A dissapointing, very one sided, listen.

1 person found this helpful

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  • David Priddy
  • 06-15-21

Excellent book for details of China’s Rise

I enjoyed the book very much and all of the author’s point are represented with the data. My one complaint regards the lack of a download file with the graphs and references for the information.

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  • Joe Blow
  • 05-29-21

illuminating

illuminating and sorta comforting. a great academic discussion in language and in ideas in a way that I could easily understand and be interested by.