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More than two centuries after throwing off its own colonial status, the United States still looks at the world through a set of European-shaped glasses. For instance, we refer to Japan, China, the Philippines and so forth collectively as the Far East. What is wrong with Near West, or Pacific West? We make mention of this to set the argument as to why you probably have not read much about the various struggles for power within the Pacific Rim and why you should. It’s really not good enough to only care about a nation or region when one is at war with it (Vietnam) or threatening war against it (North Korea)

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The only real argument one can have with Power Geopolitics in the Pacific Age is that its author C. D. Bay-Hansen should have stopped his title there. Placing the sub-titled reference to the narrow decade of 1991-2001 does his own book a disservice, implying the material is dated and about as relevant to today as a dial-up modem. That is decidedly untrue. Bay-Hansen eloquently and accurately works through the history of the Pacific Rim nations, their colonial pasts and their status as independent (or quasi-independent) nation states.

Make no mistake, Power Geopolitics in the Pacific Age carries a wealth of information about a region that the reader will be seeing in the headlines, whether the cause be that of the depletion of Pacific fisheries, resource extraction, or the uncomfortable truth that Micronesian nations are literally disappearing beneath the waves as the oceans rise due to global warming. While the first edition of this book came out in 2011, it is noted that there are fresh and re-written introductions to several chapters. This is a volume well worth your attention.

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