Great Strategic Rivalries: From The Classical World to the Cold War

ISBN : 9780190053192

James Lacey
680 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Dec 2020
Send mail

From the legendary antagonism between Athens and Sparta during the Peloponnesian War to the Napoleonic Wars and the two World Wars of the twentieth century, the past is littered with long-term strategic rivalries. History tells us that such enduring rivalries can end in one of three ways: a series of exhausting conflicts in which one side eventually prevails, as in the case of the Punic Wars between ancient Rome and Carthage, a peaceful and hopefully orderly transition, like the rivalry between Great Britain and the United States at the turn of the twentieth century, or a one-sided collapse, such as the conclusion of the Cold War with the fall of the Soviet Union. However, in spite of a wealth of historical examples, the future of state rivalries remains a matter of conjecture. Great Strategic Rivalries explores the causes and implications of past strategic rivalries, revealing lessons for the current geopolitical landscape. Each chapter offers an accessible narrative of a historically significant rivalry, comprehensively covering the political, diplomatic, economic, and military dimensions of its history. Featuring original essays by world-class historians-including Barry Strauss, Geoffrey Parker, Williamson Murray, and Geoffrey Wawro-this collection provides an in-depth look at how interstate relations develop into often violent rivalries and how these are ultimately resolved. Much more than an engaging history, Great Strategic Rivalries contains valuable insight into current conflicts around the globe for policymakers and policy watchers alike.


Introduction, Dr. James G. Lacey, Marine Corps War College
Athens and Sparta by Dr. Paul A. Rahe, Hoover Institution
Enduring Strategic Rivalries: Rome versus Carthage by Dr. Barry S. Strauss, Cornell University
Rome, Parthia, and Sassanid Persia: Strategic Rivalries in the Classical Near East by Kenneth W. Harl, Tulane University
1066 and All That: English and French Strategic Rivalry During the Middle Ages by Dr. Kelly R. DeVries, Loyola University, Baltimore
Genoa and Venice by Dr. Christine Shaw, University of Oxford
Incest, Blind Faith, and Conquest: The Spanish Habsburgs and their Enemies, 1516-1713 by Dr. Geoffrey Parker, Ohio State University
Islam's Final Push by Andrew Wheatcroft
A Contest for Trade and Empire: England v. France, 1658-1783 by Dr. Matt Schumann, Eastern Michigan University
Enduring Strategic Rivalries: Great Britain vs. France during the French Wars (1792-1815) by Dr. Michael V. Leggiere, University of North Texas
The Franco-German Rivalry by Dr. Geoffrey Wawaro, University of North Texas
Enduring Strategic Rivalries: The British Empire versus the American Empire, c. 1812-c. 1940 by Dr. Kathleen M. Burk, University of College, London
Britain and Germany: 1914-1945 by Dr. Williamson Murray, Ohio State University
China, Russia, and Japan and the Competition to Create a New World Order by Dr. S. C. M. Paine, U.S. Naval War College
The Russo-German Strategic Rivalry: 1871-1945, Dr. Robert M. Citino, U.S. Army War College
Enduring Strategic Rivalries: US-Japan Strategic Rivalry to 1941 by Dr. William M. Morgan, U.S. Marine Corps War College
Cold War Strategic Rivalry: The Soviet Union Contra Mundo (1945-1991) by Dr. James H. Anderson, U.S. Marine Corps War College

About the author: 

James Lacey is Course Director and Professor of both Strategic Studies and Political Economy at the Marine Corps War College. His previous books include The Moment of Battle: Twenty Clashes that Changed the World (with Williamson Murray) and The First Clash: The Miraculous Greek Victory at Marathon and Its Impact on Western Civilization.

The price listed on this page is the recommended retail price for Japan. When a discount is applied, the discounted price is indicated as “Discount price”. Prices are subject to change without notice.