In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power (Dispatch Books) Paperback – September 12, 2017 by Alfred W. MCCoy (Author)

In a completely original analysis, prize-winning historian Alfred W. McCoy explores America’s rise as a world power—from the 1890s through the Cold War—and its bid to extend its hegemony deep into the twenty-first century through a fusion of cyberwar, space warfare, trade pacts, and military alliances. McCoy then analyzes the marquee instruments of US hegemony—covert intervention, client elites, psychological torture, and worldwide surveillance.

Peeling back layers of secrecy, McCoy exposes a military and economic battle for global domination fought in the shadows, largely unknown to those outside the highest rungs of power. Can the United States extend the “American Century” or will China guide the globe for the next hundred years? McCoy devotes his final chapter to these questions, boldly laying out a series of scenarios that could lead to the end of Washington’s world domination by 2030.

3 thoughts on “In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power (Dispatch Books) Paperback – September 12, 2017 by Alfred W. MCCoy (Author)

  1. I hope you will read this book, Aunty, if you haven’t done so already. In his introduction, McCoy talks about the CIA trying to block him from publishing a book about CIA drug running and how Seymour Hersh helped him by outmaneuvering him and publishing sections in the New York Times.

    1. Thanks for recommending it, Stuart.I might try to get it in paperback,

      I also found this review helpful by.
      Norman, September 11, 2017:
      “McCoy’s theme for this book is: “It was that unbending ambition for a global Pax Americana that has allowed war to shape this country’s character.”
      The book is divided into three parts:
      McCoy’s personal involvement in the Vietnam era and Philippines as a graduate student makes very interesting reading. CIA involvement in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia was a miserable failure.
      CIA meddling in world affairs from Bill Clinton to present, another costly and colossal failure is the second part of the book.
      McCoy’s third part centers on future US world hegemony based on cyber and outer space warfare. Although professor McCoy was critical of past military failure, it seems to me that he finds something to admire about China’s rise to power and the US decline in the Shadows of the American Century from 2020 to 2040.
      I am not in agreement with McCoy that competition with China will be America’s downfall. I think the gigantic waste of human and physical resources by our nation’s military, will lead to the collapse of the American Empire. McCoy’s depiction of future cyber spying in American’s decline, made part three of the book drag with his description of CIA, NSA and military espionage.”

  2. Here is another interesting review of the book:

    “Asia Khuf on September 30, 2017
    Format: Paperback| Verified Purchase

    Three things make In the Shadows one of the best books I’ve read on contemporary international politics.

    First, it’s future-oriented. The question that ties the book together is “What does America do now?” McCoy is a first-rate historian, and there is a lot about the past. But the review of the past is directed to encouraging Americans—leaders, readers, and citizens—to grasp what we can and should do in the challenging decade ahead. It’s not a call to action so much as an overview that could help make intelligent action possible.

    Second, perspectival shifts give depth and nuance to the panorama McCoy paints. The book begins with the “US Global Power and Me,” a personal, anecdotal account, and then shifts radically to geopolitical theory: a surprising turn, but one which gives insightful architecture to the book as a whole. Plenty of history follows, but narrative is always in the service of eliciting basic patterns in imperial America’s conduct, which are in turn related to the historical dynamics of empire. For example, we find out plenty of details regarding America’s use and promulgation of torture, but also learn about the role torture has played in shoring up and unwinding empires. A good combination of specifics and generalities.

    Third, the book speaks to a lot of different people, not only history buffs and armchair policy experts but also servants of the imperium at the Pentagon, agencies, think tanks, and so on. It works because McCoy, like Andrew Bacevich, is exposing follies and abuses out of patriotic motives. He wants America’s rivalry with China to work to the benefit of America, and hence the world. The result is a book that is controversial without being ideological.

    McCoy is pragmatic, not dogmatic. He insists on the practical need for a strategy commensurate with America’s power and goals, and gives Obama surprisingly high marks for at least trying to pivot in a direction that responds to the challenge of Chinese ascendancy. The author’s avoidance of pat conclusions will dissatisfy readers who want to be given answers and stimulate those willing to seek out answers themselves.”

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