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Summary

It has become conventional wisdom that America and China are running a "superpower marathon." Yet Hal Brands and Michael Beckley pose a counterintuitive question: What if the sharpest phase of that competition is more like a decade-long sprint?

The Sino-American contest is driven by clashing geopolitical interests and a stark ideological dispute over whether authoritarianism or democracy will dominate the twenty-first century. But both history and China's current trajectory suggest that this rivalry will reach its moment of maximum danger in the 2020s.

China is at a perilous moment: strong enough to violently challenge the existing order, yet losing confidence that time is on its side. Witness its aggression toward Taiwan, its record-breaking military buildup, and its efforts to dominate the critical technologies that will shape the world's future.

The Chinese challenge will most likely prove more manageable than many pessimists currently believe—but during the 2020s, the pace of Sino-American conflict will accelerate, and the prospect of war will be frighteningly real. America, Brands and Beckley argue, will still need a sustainable approach to winning a protracted global competition.

©2022 Hal Brands and Michael Beckley (P)2022 Tantor

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In parts great in parts apocalyptic

History was covered very well but future scenario are very speculative with loads of assumptions that may not play out the way projected by the author.

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  • Mark Longstroth
  • 16-09-22

A Chilling View of the Coming Decade.

Well written and narrated account of China's window of opportunity before it will be squeezed by its looming population crisis from a small population of young people and an increasing population of older retired citizens. Present day China reminds me of Imperial Germany before the First World War

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  • Nick van Rensburg
  • 16-08-22

Essential read

Implications of a China in decline is monumental and will influence global lives for decades to come

An expansive discussion of the threat offered by the CCP, and the range of potential responses to the threat.

Jam packed and highly relevant today

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  • Rock Island
  • 17-09-22

Quality control issues

This is a well written and important book. However there are frequent distracting mispronounciations and worse, misread sentences with incorrect emphasis interfering with comprehension. I listened to it twice to fully understand. Why not have the author read? Hal Brands has a nice voice and he actually understands what he wants to say. The QC on this narration was disappointing.

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  • Douglas Kasson
  • 11-09-22

Too hyperbolic

Lots of good points but several arguments seemed too lopsided/exaggerated. After awhile, the angry tone of voice of the narrator started to grate on me.

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  • Lester Gesteland
  • 05-09-22

Highly Relevant, Informative & Well-Read

This is a book all policy makers and students of US-China relations should read, and I make this recommendation as the former editor of the website ChinaOnline.

This is not a book written to scare readers into making an impulse purchase. This is a well-thougut-out, thoroughly researched guide on what has been taking place between the US and China, what may happen if we continue on our current path, and what we can do to prevent a military conflict.

At first I didn't like the narrator. I thought her tone was too dramatic for a serious scholarly text. But then Nancy Wu did something few narrators of books on China do: she pronounced Chinese names and place-names correctly, and that won me over.

lf Ms. Wu were to tone down her narrating a tad, it would be pitch perfect.

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  • ddhunt
  • 03-09-22

Must-read for anyone interested in China’s current mindset

Excellent analysis based both on current condition and historical precedent. Roadmap to avoiding war and winning the peace.

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  • Erik E.
  • 27-08-22

Shockingly missing variable

Good book. Very in-depth analysis of China, the US and the global situation. In my opinion it focuses too much on the history of ideology politics and military conquests and failures. They are vastly missing the alliance that Russia and China have reluctantly created. BRIC is not even mentioned somehow. There is a devastating technology and resource war that is being waged by Russia and China. Russia has a long history of creating technology but an abysmal record of producing products. China has almost the opposite but it’s production abilities has made it a powerhouse. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is about controlling the resources of food staples , fertilizer, energy, fossil fuels and water which may be come the most important commodity. Read the news. There is nothing but drought and devastating floods crushing the environment. The Russian Ukraine region is becoming one of the last bread baskets. Hunger and acute famine lays waste to all ideologies and alliances. This needs to be included in the assumptions and predictions for the global situation.