Asia's Rise and America's Decline From Obama to Trump and Beyond

by Gideon Rachman

Number of pages: 336

Publisher: Other Press

BBB Library: Politics and Public Affairs

ISBN: 9781590518519

About the Author

Rachman is chief foreign affairs commentator for the Financial Times. He joined FT in 2006, after fifteen years at The Economist, where he served as a correspondent in Washington DC, Brussels, and Bangkok. In 2016, he won the Orwell prize for political journalism. In the same year he was also named as commentator of the year at the European Press Prize awards.


Editorial Review

Easternization is the defining trend to our age—the growing wealth of Asian nations is transforming the international balance of power. This shift to the East is shaping the lives of people all over the world, the fate of nations, and the great questions of war and peace. Gideon Rachman offers a road map to the turbulent process that will define the international politics of the 21st century.

Book Reviews

"Informed on history and up to date, the book is a sprightly, pointed primer on world affairs.”—Foreign Affairs

"This intelligent and provocative new book by the paper’s leading chief foreign affairs commentator, Gideon Rachman, reminds us of different requirements for journalistic excellence: historical education, engagement in scholarly debates and tireless travel to interview global decision-makers.”—The New York Times

"Asia’s new predominance—which essentially means China’s increasing power—is taken as the starting point of Mr. Rachman’s narrative. He makes the convincing, chilling case that the military gap between the United States and China is rapidly narrowing and that the ‘focal point of Chinese-American military rivalry is the control of the Western Pacific,’ which is now ‘disputed territory.’ Reviewing China’s challenge to America’s decadeslong predominance in Asia’s waters, Mr. Rachman links it to a broader Chinese goal, led by Mr. Xi, of finally overcoming China’s so-called ‘century of humiliation.’ This is a fascinating story.”—The Wall Street Journal

"Gideon Rachman’s Easternization, his new survey of a transformed Asia, admirably does what so little writing on foreign affairs attempts. It treats with equal facility economics, geopolitics, security, enough history for needed background, official thinking, and public attitudes. Rachman, chief foreign affairs columnist for the Financial Times, has an eye for the telling statistic and for the memorable detail that makes it stick. He packs an enormous amount of information into a short book and opens windows of understanding for nonexperts onto this immensely important three fifths of humanity. And while not directly concerned with the new American administration, the story he tells shows well why Donald Trump’s foreign policies could end so badly for the United States and for the world.”—The New York Times Book Review

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Wisdom to Share

The most obvious concern linking the major powers of both East and West is their interest in the continuing growth of the global economy.

The greatest political challenges of the twenty-first century will be to manage the process of Easternization in the common interests of humankind.

Looking at some of the key institutions that underpin the global economic and political order reveals how much of the world is still wired through the West. These include high-profile international institutions such as the United Nations, the World Bank, and the IMF.

The relative decline of US economic and political power is encouraging rival nations to explore whether the United States can be challenged.

While the Europeans would prefer to concentrate on business and remain as bystanders in an emerging struggle for power in Asia, the strategy is unlikely to be viable over the long term.

Just as the problems of the Middle East burst through Germany's well-sealed windows, tensions in distant East Asia will eventually confront the nations of Europe with unavoidable political and strategic choices.

Failure of American allies to share the burden of maintaining western military dominance threatens to turn one of the United States greatest strengths—its networks of allies—into a potential liability.

American officials recognize that an emerging confrontation between the United States and China is not simply the result of a new mood of Chinese nationalism. It is also a result of an almost instinctive American response to the rise of a great new power.

The idea that India might one day be at the fulcrum of global economic development underlines the point that the story of Easternization is about much more than China—and indeed about much more than Asia.

The shifting of economic and political power from the West to the East is reshaping the whole world.