FDR masterfully maneuvered the United States into the Second World War without appearing to do so. His corps of envoys and advisers did little to shape the agenda of a strategic and political mastermind.
Many Western observers think China is due to liberalize as it rises. Yet Chinese reformers have long favored Western ideas merely as a means to a different end: wealth and power.
In his excellent study of the Roman Empire, Greg Woolf provides sharp insights while wisely avoiding simplistic comparisons, instead mixing a broad perspective with telling details to provide a fascinating picture of the empire par excellence.