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. It 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.
Reviews for Play by the Rules:
Daily Review: A legal approach to the decline and fall of the United States
Kevin Brianton – October 8, 2020
When COVID-19 was beginning it spread throughout the United States, President Donald Trump turned his ire on the World Health Organisation. The White House charged that the WHO was slow to respond to the threat and overly influenced by China.
Pembroke has presented a strong case that the United States is on a downward path, and China will continue to rise. The book puts many current political debates into context, such as the Victorian Government, accepting funds for infrastructure from the Belts and Road Initiative from the Chinese Government. It raises some real questions about the wisdom of the approach of the Australian Government to banning telecommunication companies such as Huawei.
America on the world stage, past and present. A review of Michael Pembroke’s ‘Play by the Rules’
Chris Johnson – September 15, 2020
In the early pages of his new book, Michael Pembroke writes about sentiments in 1945 of: “An American outlook on the world that shone briefly and brightly after the war: one that represented unquestioned moral leadership. The country was admired for its virtue and envied for its peace-and-plenty economy. At that time it did not claim any privilege, any special dispensation, absolving it from the rules and conventions of international law that applied to other nations.” Then, the author simply asks: “What happened?”
Play by the Rules – The Short Story of America’s Leadership: From Hiroshima to COVID-19 is a well-crafted and concise read about the moral decline of a once great nation. A decline that has led to diminished authority on the world stage and to the ushering in of today’s unfolding global power shift.
FOR anyone who believes Donald Trump is singlehandedly destroying the American dream and disrupting global peace and prosperity, this book is worth a read.
Michael Pembroke’s gripping rundown of US foreign policy decisions from 1939 to present day shows hubris and exceptionalism were well entrenched in Washington even before Trump’s ridiculous
reign. He is just incredibly poor at hiding his motives.
Non-fiction reviews: Play By The Rules and other titles
Reviewer: Steven Carroll – The Sydney Morning Herald, August 7, 2020
In this fascinating survey of US leadership from Versailles to the present day, there is an intriguing moment in 1945. Henry Wallace, FDR’s choice as Vice-President, was sidelined by his own party and anti-communist Harry Truman became Vice-President, and, with FDR’s death, president.
‘In this fascinating survey of US leadership from Versailles to the present day, there is an intriguing moment in 1945. Henry Wallace, FDR’s choice as Vice-President, was sidelined by his own party and anti-communist Harry Truman became Vice-President, and, with FDR’s death, president. Within months the Cold War began, but with different leadership things might have unfolded differently. In this lucid study, Michael Pembroke charts the rise of the ”American century”, the subsequent decline of US power and the rise in the 21st century of China and Asian economies. Among other things, he examines US ”exceptionalism”, the divisions among various leaders in regard to it, and the variegated quality of leadership, ending with the dangerously confrontational policies of the Trump administration.’