In Play by the Rules, acclaimed writer and historian Michael Pembroke offers a fresh take on the USA's vast influence and asks whether it is still a force for good.

In the heady days after 1945, the authority of the United States was unrivalled. But seventy-five years later, its influence has already diminished. The world has now entered a post-American era - defined by the rise of Asia and the return of China, as much as by the decline of the United States. This book is a short history of that decline; how high standards and treasured principles were ignored; how idealism was replaced by hubris and moral compromise; and how adherence to the rule of law became selective.

Play by the Rules is also a look into the future - a future dominated by greater Asia and China in particular. We are in the midst of the third great power shift in modern history - from Europe to America to Asia. Washington's failure of leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating history.



ISBN: 9781743796528
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 256
Publication Date: 5 Aug 2020
Publisher: Hardie Grant Books
Publication City, Country: South Yarra, Australia
Dimensions (cm): 23.4(H) x 15.3(L)



Praise for Michael Pembroke and Korea: Where the American Century Began:

'Started to read and just could not stop - Maddening, painful...Perceptive and compelling - often heart-rending, sometimes downright terrifying - this richly informed study amply establishes its thesis that the 'permanent phenomenon' of American global militarism has its origin in the Korean conflict.' - Noam Chomsky

''I read it in one go on a plane journey - fascinated, educated, appalled, amazed, and gripped. I take my hat off to the richness of the research ... I came away from reading the book in equal parts full of admiration for the book itself, and appalled by the story it tells.' - A.C. Grayling


Author Biography

Michael Pembroke was born in Sydney in 1955. He is the author of Arthur Phillip: Sailor, Mercenary, Governor, Spy (2013), which was short-listed for the Prime Minister's Literary Awards, and Korea: Where the American Century Began (2018), which was short-listed for the Queensland Literary Awards and the NSW Premier's History Awards. He was educated at the Universities of Sydney and Cambridge and was a Director's Visitor at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton in 2017. Pembroke is a former Supreme Court judge (2010-20) and is now the Chairman of Red Room Poetry.

Play by the Rules: The Short Story of America's Leadership: From Hiroshima to COVID-19

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