The Return of Great Powers: Russia, China, and the Next World War (Hardcover)
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The essential new book by CNN anchor and chief national security analyst Jim Sciutto, identifying a new, more uncertain global order with reporting on the frontlines of power from existing wars to looming ones across the globe.
The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 dawned what Francis Fukuyama called “The End of History.” Three decades later, Jim Sciutto said on CNN’s air as the Ukraine war began, that we are living in a “1939 moment.” History never ended—it barely paused—and the global order as we long have known it is now gone. Powerful nations are determined to assert dominance on the world stage. And as their push for power escalates, a new order will affect everyone across the globe. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a part of it, but in reality, this power struggle impacts every corner of our world—from Helsinki to Beijing, from Australia to the North Pole. This is a battle with many fronts: in the Arctic, in the oceans and across the skies, on man-made islands and redrawn maps, and in tech and cyberspace.
Through globe-spanning, exclusive interviews with dozens of political, military, and intelligence leaders, Sciutto defines our times as a return of great power conflict, “a definitive break between the post–Cold War era and an entirely new and uncertain one.” With savvy, thorough, in-person reporting, he follows-up his 2019 bestseller, The Shadow War: Inside Russia’s and China's Secret Operations to Defeat America, which focused on the covert tactics of a hidden conflict.
The Return of Great Powers analyzes a historic and visible shift in real time. It details the realities of this new post–post–Cold War era, the increasingly aligned Russian and Chinese governments, and the flashpoint of a new, global nuclear arms race. And it poses a question: As we consider uncertain, even terrifying, outcomes, will it be possible for the West and Russia and China to prevent a new World War?
About the Author
Jim Sciutto is CNN’s chief national security analyst and anchor of CNN Newsroom on Max, airing Monday through Friday. He reports and provides analysis across the network’s programs and platforms on all aspects of US national security, including foreign policy, the military, the intelligence community, and the State Department. He has reported from more than fifty countries across the globe, including dozens of assignments from inside Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran. Among the honors Sciutto’s work has earned are Emmy Awards, the Edward R. Murrow Award, the George Polk Award, the Dupont-Columbia Award, and the White House Correspondent’s Association’s Merriman Smith Award for excellence in presidential coverage. Sciutto is the bestselling author of The Shadow War.
Named a Most-Anticipated Title by Foreign Policy and Politico
"The Return of Great Powers is a brilliant warning shot across the world's bow. If we want to avoid a new world war, our leaders are going to have to pull the blinkers from their eyes -- and this superb book can help shatter our complaisance. Jim Sciutto is saying, quite clearly, ‘Wake up, folks. A world war could easily happen.’ It is a warning worth heeding.”—Admiral James Stavridis, 16th Supreme Allied Commander of NATO and Vice Chairman for Global Affairs at The Carlyle Group. His latest book is 2054: A Novel, about AI, geopolitics, and civil conflict in America.
“Jim’s prior book, Shadow War, opened my eyes to the difficulty in addressing Russia and China in a ‘below the traditional threshold’ worldwide battle for the future. The Return of Great Powers is a sobering but necessary look at the future of warfare, influence, and competition. If the US wants to remain competitive, and do so in an environment of peace, leaders would do themselves a service to read this and understand the future challenges. They aren’t going away, and the US cannot pretend the future isn’t close. It comes before we know it, and we’ll either be prepared or we won’t. Jim clearly understand that preparedness and sober assessment is the best way to avoid conflict, and leave our children better off than we are.”—Adam Kinzinger, Former US Representative (Illinois)