Scribe first published Destined for War in 2017. The then recently elected Donald Trump and Xi Jinping were both promising to make their countries ‘great again’. Harvard scholar Graham Allison looked to the past to examine the geoplitical question of our age — he looked to Thucydide’s Trap. About the Peloponnesian War that devastated ancient Greece, the historian Thucydides explained: ‘It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable.’ Over the past 500 years, these conditions have occurred sixteen times. War broke out in twelve of them.
Allison used this historical lens to show how close the world was to the unthinkable, and what the United States and China must do to avoid disaster. But today, Trump threatens tariffs and China says, ‘we do not want a trade war, but we are not afraid of fighting one’.
Publisher Henry Rosenbloom says: ‘I acquired Destined for War because I could see immediately that it was a major work on a likely threat to global peace that was only going to become more prominent and more concerning. The author had unimpeachable credentials, and his historically based analysis was not only sound but worryingly compelling. With our ability to publish the book in the UK as well as ANZ, I felt sure we could help this book get the attention it deserved in the English-language world outside the author’s home country of the US. As it happens, it’s been a bestseller for us in the UK, and has achieved international prominence.’
Allison’s book remains worryingly compelling today.