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Acclaimed exploration of Chinas emergence as the most dynamic center of current economic expansion.In the late eighteenth century, the political economist Adam Smith predicted an eventual equalization of power between the conquering West and the conquered non-West. In this magisterial new work, Giovanni Arrighi shows how China's extraordinary rise invites us to read The Wealth of Nations in a radically different way than is usually done. He examines how the recent US attempt to bring into existence the first truly global empire in world history was conceived in order to counter China's spectacular economic success of the 1990s, and how the US's disastrous failure in Iraq has made the Peoples Republic of China the true winner of the US War on Terror. In the 21st century, China may well become again the kind of noncapitalist market economy that Smith described, under totally different domestic and world-historical conditions.