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The Myth of America's Decline

Politics, Economics, and a Half Century of False Prophecies


Josef Joffe (Author)

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A provocative and contrarian work—filled with great lessons from history—that challenges the pervasive notion that America is on the decline.

America-bashing predates America: French Enlightenment philosophies claimed that the colony was doomed and one critic reported that the colony’s population was "astonishingly idiotic [and] enervated". As the United States became a superpower after the Second World War, a more virulent, politically charged form of declinism emerged amid hysteria that "the Russians are coming". It was followed by the European miracle, Japan’s "Rising Sun" and now the looming Chinese behemoth. While declinism may delight the media and gloating Europeans eager to play up America’s "has-been" status, the facts do not corroborate the contentions, as Josef Joffe demonstrates in this history of American declinism. He offers a highly provocative examination of how the US, for all its failings, continues to be a force of rejuvenation today.


“...a stimulating and impressive argument...” — The Times

“...a provocative counterbalance to conventional wisdom and a useful starting point for a debate needed on both sides of the Atlantic.” — The Sunday Times

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