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The Fate of Empires: Being an Inquiry into the Stability of Civilisation by Arthur John Hubbard, first published in 1913, is a rare manuscript, the original residing in one of the great libraries of the world. This book is a reproduction of that original, which has been scanned and cleaned by state-of-the-art publishing tools for better readability and enhanced appreciation. Restoration Editors' mission is to bring long out of print manuscripts back to life. Some smudges, annotations or unclear text may still exist, due to permanent damage to the original work. We believe the literary significance of the text justifies offering this reproduction, allowing a new generation to appreciate it.
What went wrong in imperial Rome, and how we can avoid it: “If you want to understand where America stands in the world today, read this.” —Thomas E. Ricks The rise and fall of ancient Rome has been on American minds since the beginning of our republic. Depending on who’s doing the talking, the history of Rome serves as either a triumphal call to action—or a dire warning of imminent collapse. In this “provocative and lively” book, Cullen Murphy points out that today we focus less on the Roman Republic than on the empire that took its place, and reveals a wide array of similarities between the two societies (The New York Times). Looking at the blinkered, insular culture of our capitals; the debilitating effect of bribery in public life; the paradoxical issue of borders; and the weakening of the body politic through various forms of privatization, Murphy persuasively argues that we most resemble Rome in the burgeoning corruption of our government and in our arrogant ignorance of the world outside—two things that must be changed if we are to avoid Rome’s fate. “Are We Rome? is just about a perfect book. . . . I wish every politician would spend an evening with this book.” —James Fallows
In this engrossing narrative of the great military conflagration of the mid-eighteenth century, Fred Anderson transports us into the maelstrom of international rivalries. With the Seven Years' War, Great Britain decisively eliminated French power north of the Caribbean — and in the process destroyed an American diplomatic system in which Native Americans had long played a central, balancing role — permanently changing the political and cultural landscape of North America. Anderson skillfully reveals the clash of inherited perceptions the war created when it gave thousands of American colonists their first experience of real Englishmen and introduced them to the British cultural and class system. We see colonists who assumed that they were partners in the empire encountering British officers who regarded them as subordinates and who treated them accordingly. This laid the groundwork in shared experience for a common view of the world, of the empire, and of the men who had once been their masters. Thus, Anderson shows, the war taught George Washington and other provincials profound emotional lessons, as well as giving them practical instruction in how to be soldiers. Depicting the subsequent British efforts to reform the empire and American resistance — the riots of the Stamp Act crisis and the nearly simultaneous pan-Indian insurrection called Pontiac's Rebellion — as postwar developments rather than as an anticipation of the national independence that no one knew lay ahead (or even desired), Anderson re-creates the perspectives through which contemporaries saw events unfold while they tried to preserve imperial relationships. Interweaving stories of kings and imperial officers with those of Indians, traders, and the diverse colonial peoples, Anderson brings alive a chapter of our history that was shaped as much by individual choices and actions as by social, economic, and political forces.
How devastating viruses, pandemics, and other natural catastrophes swept through the far-flung Roman Empire and helped to bring down one of the mightiest civilizations of the ancient world Here is the monumental retelling of one of the most consequential chapters of human history: the fall of the Roman Empire. The Fate of Rome is the first book to examine the catastrophic role that climate change and infectious diseases played in the collapse of Rome’s power—a story of nature’s triumph over human ambition. Interweaving a grand historical narrative with cutting-edge climate science and genetic discoveries, Kyle Harper traces how the fate of Rome was decided not just by emperors, soldiers, and barbarians but also by volcanic eruptions, solar cycles, climate instability, and devastating viruses and bacteria. He takes readers from Rome’s pinnacle in the second century, when the empire seemed an invincible superpower, to its unraveling by the seventh century, when Rome was politically fragmented and materially depleted. Harper describes how the Romans were resilient in the face of enormous environmental stress, until the besieged empire could no longer withstand the combined challenges of a “little ice age” and recurrent outbreaks of bubonic plague. A poignant reflection on humanity’s intimate relationship with the environment, The Fate of Rome provides a sweeping account of how one of history’s greatest civilizations encountered and endured, yet ultimately succumbed to the cumulative burden of nature’s violence. The example of Rome is a timely reminder that climate change and germ evolution have shaped the world we inhabit—in ways that are surprising and profound.
Months before crowds in Moscow dismantled monuments to Lenin, residents of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv toppled theirs. Risch argues that Soviet politics of empire created this anti-Soviet city, and that opposition from the periphery as much as from the imperial center was instrumental in unraveling the Soviet Union.
A Historical Survey of the Many Ways Empires have Succumbed to External and Internal Pressures There are no self-proclaimed empires today. After the twentieth century, with its worldwide wave of decolonizing and liberation movements, the very word "empire" conjures images of slavery, war, repression, and colonialism. None of this is to say that empires are confined to the past, however. By at least some reasonable definitions, empires do exist today. Many articles and books speak about the decline of the "American Empire," for example, or compare the history of the United States to that of Rome or the British Empire. Yet no public official would speak candidly of American "imperial" interests in the Middle East or use the word "empire" in discussions of the nation's future the same way British politicians did in the twentieth century. In addition, empires don't have to fit the classical Roman mold; there are many kinds of empire and varieties of international authority, such as cultural imperialism and economic imperialism. But it is clear empires do not last, even those that once harnessed great wealth, strong armies, and sophisticated legal systems. InThe Fall of Empires: A Brief History of Imperial Collapse, historian Chad Denton describes the end of seventeen empires throughout world history, from Athens to Qin China, from the Byzantium to the Mughals. He reveals--through stories of conquest, corruption, incompetence, assassination, bigotry, and environmental crisis--how even the most seemingly eternal of empires declined. For Athens and Britain it was military hubris; for Qin China and Russia it was alienating their subjects through oppression; Persia succumbed with the loss of its capital; the Khmer faced ecological catastrophe; while the Aztecs were destroyed by colonial exploitation. None of these events alone explains why the empires fell, but they do provide a glimpse into the often-unpredictable currents of history, which have so far spared no empire. A fascinating and instructive survey, The Fall of Empiresprovides compelling evidence about the fate of centralized regional or global power.
One of the West’s leading intellectuals offers a provocative look at America’s withdrawal from world leadership and the rising powers who seek to fill the vacuum left behind. The United States was once the hope of the world, a beacon of freedom and the defender of liberal democracy. Nations and peoples on all continents looked to America to stand up for the values that created the Western worldand to oppose autocracy and repression. Even when America did not live up to its ideals, it still recognized their importance, at home and abroad. But as Bernard-Henri Lévy lays bare in this powerful and disturbing analysis of the world today, America is retreating from its traditional leadership role, and in its place have come five ambitious powers, former empires eager to assert their primacy and influence. Lévy shows how these five—Russia, China, Turkey, Iran, and Sunni radical Islamism—are taking steps to undermine the liberal values that have been a hallmark of Western civilization. The Empire and the Five Kings is a cri de coeur that draws upon lessons from history and the eternal touchstones of human culture to reveal the stakes facing the West as America retreats from its leadership role, a process that did not begin with Donald Trump's presidency and is not likely to end with him. The crisis is one whose roots can be found as far back as antiquity and whose resolution will require the West to find a new way forward if its principles and values are to survive. As seen on Real Time with Bill Maher (2/22/2019) and Fareed Zakaria GPS (2/17/2019).
For thousands of years we have grown, cooked and traded food, and over that time much has changed. Where once we subsisted on gritty, bland grains, we now enjoy culinary creations and epicurean delights made with vegetables from the New World, fish trawled from the deep sea, and flavoured with spices from the Orient. But how did we make that change from eating for survival to the innovations of modern cuisine? How has food helped to shape our culture? And what will happen when global warming and peak oil have their inevitable effect on agriculture? Empires of Food is an authoritative exploration of the innumerable ways that food has changed the course of history. The earliest cities, after all, were founded on the creation and exchange of food surpluses, and since then trade routes of ever greater sophistication have developed. We've built complex societies by shunting corn and wheat and rice along rivers, up deforested hillsides, and into the stockpots of history. But we cannot go on forever. As Evan D. G. Fraser and Andrew Rimas compellingly show, the abundance that we all enjoy comes at a price, and unless we think of a more sustainable way to grow, eat and enjoy food, we may find that our civilization reaches its best before date.
From a brilliant Brookings Institution expert, an “important” (The Wall Street Journal) and “penetrating historical and political study” (Nature) of the critical role that oceans play in the daily struggle for global power, in the bestselling tradition of Robert Kaplan’s The Revenge of Geography. For centuries, oceans were the chessboard on which empires battled for supremacy. But in the nuclear age, air power and missile systems dominated our worries about security, and for the United States, the economy was largely driven by domestic production, with trucking and railways that crisscrossed the continent serving as the primary modes of commercial transit. All that has changed, as nine-tenths of global commerce and the bulk of energy trade is today linked to sea-based flows. A brightly painted forty-foot steel shipping container loaded in Asia with twenty tons of goods may arrive literally anywhere else in the world; how that really happens and who actually profits from it show that the struggle for power on the seas is a critical issue today. Now, in vivid, closely observed prose, Bruce Jones conducts us on a fascinating voyage through the great modern ports and naval bases—from the vast container ports of Hong Kong and Shanghai to the vital naval base of the American Seventh Fleet in Hawaii to the sophisticated security arrangements in the Port of New York. Along the way, the book illustrates how global commerce works, that we are amidst a global naval arms race, and why the oceans are so crucial to America’s standing going forward. As Jones reveals, the three great geopolitical struggles of our time—for military power, for economic dominance, and over our changing climate—are playing out atop, within, and below the world’s oceans. The essential question, he shows, is this: who will rule the waves and set the terms of the world to come?