Covering much the same ground as in his Rise of the Trading State (1986), Rosecrance offers an informed appraisal of America's chances of remaining one of the Global Village's bigger wheels. While essentially confident about the nation's prospects, the author (Political Science/UCLA) cautions that under certain circumstances the US could find itself a de facto colony of Japan by the turn of the century. Indeed, he predicts grave problems if the unbalanced structure of world trade and payments is not rectified in relatively short order. On the plus side, Rosecrance discerns stabilizing forces that promise to produce commercial equilibrium. In past eras, the author submits, domestic change (e.g., the French Revolution, the West's post-WW II willingness to wage Cold War) has been the major transforming agent in international affairs. With the emergence of Pacific Basin countries as economic powers and Communism's appeal in apparently terminal eclipse, he argues, quite the reverse is now true. On the assumption that the US will respond to the continuing challenge of global competition, Rosecrance anticipates a substantive improvement in its macroeconomic environment and positive shifts in Washington's resolve to help hard-pressed industries. In the meantime, he foresees kinder, gentler dealings with the Soviet Union (which will free financial resources for investment in the US), plus a revised relationship with Japan (which will open the island nation's home markets and reduce America's trade deficit). Stateside, the author looks for more enlightened governance, an outcome he expects to reform the tax system, rehabilitate educational institutions, minimize bureaucracy, lower the cost of capital, and give corporate executives longer-term perspectives. A plausible, if optimistic, scenario for America's primus-inter-pares place in a peaceable trade-based kingdom here on earth.