Cover: Safe Passage: The Transition from British to American Hegemony, from Harvard University PressCover: Safe Passage in HARDCOVER

Safe Passage

The Transition from British to American Hegemony

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Product Details


$32.00 • £25.95 • €29.00

ISBN 9780674975071

Publication Date: 11/27/2017

Academic Trade

400 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

1 map


A remarkable and timely chronicle—living history of the best sort.—Brendan Simms, The Wall Street Journal

An artful book that, mercifully, amounts to much more than a conventional trot through the backstory of the ‘special relationship.’ …One of the strengths of this sharply observed book is its emphasis on historical contingency in determining the course of Anglo–American relations.—John Bew, The Times Literary Supplement

This is a brilliant book, which uses a well-researched historical study as the context for a discussion of the international order of the present.—A. W. Purdue, Times Higher Education

An eloquently written and thoughtfully constructed treatment.—Ali Wyne, The Los Angeles Review of Books

Schake provides a fresh and insightful account that focuses on key moments when American and British elites revised their judgments about each other and their changing geopolitical fortunes… The book is most fascinating in its details, illuminating the myriad struggles between London and Washington over the rules and institutions that would form the basis for Pax Americana.—G. John Ikenberry, Foreign Affairs

Eminently readable, incisively argued, and keenly erudite history… What makes Schake’s work so magical is that what made America special—as a country, an idea, an ideal, an idealization—is just what blunted the threat [of war with Great Britain]. Her work implores us to look around and see how delicate the current world order is, how contingent its formation, how necessary it is to attend to it, because averting future wars is conditional upon it.The Bridge

This is an important book that helps us understand what history tells us about the centrality of values in preserving a peaceful international order.—Condoleezza Rice, Stanford University

The peaceful passage of hegemonic power between the British and American empires is puzzling considering that virtually all previous hegemonic transitions were bloody. Kori Schake’s explanation of this puzzle is not only a welcome addition to the growing body of historically sensitive International Relations scholarship, but also a critical intervention in the contemporary debate on the future of international order. According to Schake, the chances of a peaceful transition to Chinese hegemony are minimal.—Srjdan Vucetic, University of Ottawa

Why was the transition from the United Kingdom to the United States as the world’s predominant power managed without conflict between the two? In Safe Passage Kori Schake describes the different stages of the transition, and the importance of the developing similarity between the two countries. This is a compelling thesis, engagingly written and sharply argued.—Lawrence Freedman, King’s College, London

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