From Publishers Weekly Chua (World on Fire), a Yale law professor and daughter of immigrants, examines a number of world-dominant powers—a none too rigorously defined group that lumps together the Persian, Roman, Mongol and British empires with the contemporary United States—and argues that tolerance and multiculturalism are indispensable features of global economic and military success. Such hyperpowers rise, Chua argues, because their tolerance of minority cultures and religions, their receptivity to foreign ideas and their willingness to absorb and empower talented provincials and immigrants lets them harness the world's human capital. Conversely, hyperpowers decline when their assimilative capacities falter and they lapse into intolerance and exclusion. The sexy concept of a world-dominant hyperpower, in addition to being somewhat erratic—the smallish Dutch Republic makes the cut, while the far-flung (but inconveniently intolerant) Spanish empire doesn't—is doubtful when examining an America that can hardly dominate Baghdad and not much more convincing when applied to earlier hegemons. Chua does offer an illuminating survey of the benefits of tolerance and pluralism, often as a tacit brief for maintaining America's generous immigration policies. (Nov.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Amy Chua smartly condenses the complex histories of the Persian, Mughal, Dutch, and other empires into an irresistible argument: that empires expand through toleration and contract through close-mindedness. As with any shrewd and elaborate argument, the getting there is half the fun.”—Robert D. Kaplan, Atlantic Monthly correspondent, visiting professor in national security at the U. S. Naval Academy, and author of Balkan Ghosts and Imperial Grunts"Scintillating history, breathtaking in scope and chock-full of insight. Amy Chua argues persuasively that the real key to acquiring and maintaining great power lies in the ability to attract and assimilate, rather than to coerce or intimidate.”—Andrew J. Bacevich, author of The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War“Amy Chua is a law professor, but in this book she writes as a sage historian. She draws lessons from the past that one who cares about the future cannot afford to ignore.”—Amitai Etzioni, author of Security First: For A Muscular, Moral Foreign Policy “From ancient Achaemenid Persia to the modern United States, by way of Rome, Tang China and the Spanish, Dutch and British Empires, Amy Chua tells the story of the world's hyperpowers -- that elite of empires which, in their heyday, were truly without equal. Not everyone will be persuaded by her ingenious thesis that religious and racial tolerance was a prerequisite for global dominance, but also the slow solvent of that cultural "glue" which holds a great nation together. But few readers will fail to be impressed by the height of this book's ambition and by the breadth of scholarship on which it is based.”—Niall Ferguson, Laurence A. Tisch Professor History, Harvard University, and author of Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order.