Brandt & Hochman Agency
Published by
Yale Universtiy Press (2021-09-14)
Current material
Press Folder/Reviews
Original language
Politics & government


American Defense in an Age of Great Power Conflict

by Colby, Elbridge A.

For followers of Robert D. Kaplan's masterful non-fiction, Elbridge A. Colby offers his perspective and insight on geopolitics.

Elbridge A. Colby was the lead architect of the 2018 National Defense Strategy, the most significant revision of that document in a generation. Here he lays out how America's defense must change to address China's growing power and ambition. Based firmly in the realist tradition but written with an awareness of current policy, this book offers a clear framework for what America's goals in confronting China must be, how its military strategy must change, and how it must prioritize these goals over its lesser interests.

The most informed and in-depth reappraisal of America's defense strategy in decades, this book outlines a rigorous but practical approach, showing how the United States can prepare to win a war with China that we cannot afford to lose - precisely in order to deter that war from happening.

Elbridge A. Colby is co-founder and principal of The Marathon Initiative. He served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy and force development from 2017 through 2018, during which he led the development of the 2018 National Defense Strategy. Bridge Colby publishes articles fairly regularly on current affairs, mostly US/China relations, in places like NYT, WSJ, Financial Times, Foreign Policy, etc. and that extends to the international press lately especially in Germany. He is the grandson of Nixon/Ford-era CIA Director William Colby.

Available rights (1)

Language Territory Type Vendor Status
German World All

Mohrbooks Literary Agency
Sebastian Ritscher

Available View on Rightsdesk


Author's Korean piece

Quote: Hankookilbo

Rigorously argued and compelling... This book will define the basis for future debate about U.S. defense strategy in Asia... Mr. Colby earns a place as an intellectual heir to the Cold War strategists who thought seriously about how to thwart Soviet designs... [He] is courageous in forcing readers to think concretely about the unthinkable... The task of deterring Chinese aggression is urgent, and Mr. Colby's book presents a needed path forward.

Review: Wall Street Journal

Colby gives us an original and provocative approach to containing adversaries, especially China.distinguished by its moving seamlessly from international relations theory to detailed questions of diplomacy and force deployment.

Quote: Robert Jervis, author of How Statesmen Think

[A] on how to deal with the geopolitical and military threat from China. Will be much discussed and constantly referred to as we grapple with this challenge.

Quote: Rich Lowry, editor of the National Review

Exceptionally well-thought out... A for why the United States should care about Beijing's aggression in the Indo-Pacific region... Its arguments are both self-evident and well explained [and] it is thoroughly enjoyable to read.

Review: Diplomatic Courier, Ten Best Books of the Year

What to do about China's rising might and territorial ambition? Brilliant strategist Elbridge Colby takes on this vexing and increasingly urgent challenge with a clear-eyed, forceful but carefully thought-out approach. Cogently, lucidly, he uses the lessons of history to show that the best way to avoid war is to prepare for war.

Quote: Evan Thomas, co-author of THE WISE MEN: Six Friends and the World They Made and, most recently, FIRST: Sandra Day O’Connor

There are many ways to lose wars or win them, but only one way to avoid them: to envision closely enough the dangers to be averted by deterrence or defense. This book brings together pure intellect, wide knowledge, and practical experience to show how U.S. defense strategy must change - and fast.

Quote: Edward Luttwak, author of STRATEGY: The Logic of War and Peace and THE RISE OF CHINA VS. THE LOGIC OF STRATEGY

Korea: Parkyoung ; Poland: PISM ; Taiwan: MDF ; Vietnam: Khai Minh

Quote: Brandt

An engaging, vigorously argued and refreshingly readable case for a U.S. strategy focused on deterring China to reduce the danger of war.

Review: Los Angeles Times

This is a book well worth reading, packed with fresh paradigm-cracking ideas, breaking all the china in thinking how to handle China.

Review: National Interest

Thoughtful and rigorous... Makes an extended case for curtailing other commitments to focus on China... The book's fundamental Colby's willingness to test all sides of complicated debates... Required reading for lawmakers, national security hands, and 2024 presidential hopefuls.

Review: Washington Examiner

This is a realist's book, laser-focused on China's bid for mastery in Asia as the 21st century's most important threat.

Review: New York Times

"Explains in unflinching terms why America needs to take the possibility of a confrontation with China more seriously. Colby's book has made waves in Washington, and is a compelling, realist look at the most important geopolitical question of the 21st century."

Quote: Oliver Wiseman, The Spectator

An exceptional book. Elbridge Colby has written a book on defense strategy that reaches a level of theoretical mastery akin to Hans Morgenthau's POLITICS AMONG NATIONS. There is no better guidebook to how we should think about war and peace in this new age of great power competition.

Quote: Robert D. Kaplan, Robert Strausz-Hupe Chair in Geopolitics at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and author of ASIA’S CAULDRON and THE REVENGE OF GEOGRAPHY

A quoi pourrait ressembler un conflit armé entre les deux superpuissances ? Voilà un essai partisan qui esquisse un futur possible.

Review: L’Express in France

"Colby's lucid, painstakingly argued book is essential reading."

Quote: Peter Berkowitz, Real Clear Politics

it is included in WSJ's Who Read What: Political Figures Share Their Favorite Books of 2021.

Quote: Wall Street Journal

"Colby's well-crafted and insightful STRATEGY OF DENIAL provides a superb and, one suspects, essential departure point for an urgent and much-needed debate over U.S. defense strategy."

Quote: Andrew Krepinevich, Foreign Affairs

nyone interested in US strategy should read this tour de force from the primary author of the celebrated 2018 U.S. National Defense Strategy. This well-written, masterfully constructed, logically compelling book conveys the essence of strategy from one of the best current practitioners of the trade. Highly recommended!

Quote: Robert O. Work, former Deputy Secretary of Defense

Author's Japanese piece: Japan must urgently increase defense spending ...

Quote: Nikkei Asia

Colby's well-crafted and insightful Strategy of Denial provides a superb and, one suspects, essential departure point for an urgent and much-needed debate over U.S. defense strategy.

Review: Foreign Affairs

THE STRATEGY OF DENIAL is One of the Wall Street Journal's Ten Best Books of 2021: "Colby, the lead architect of the 2018 National Defense Strategy, here lays out - realistically, concretely and in plain-spoken American English - how Washington must act decisively to check Beijing's growing power and ambition."

Review: Wall Street Journal

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