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From the turn of the 15th century until the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, the great powers frequently fought wars or regularly stood on the precipice of conflict. In contrast, for more than fifty years we have lived through an unprecedented period of great power peace. This book advances a theory of change based on the Realist tradition and uses it to explain the transformation of great power politics from centuries of warfare and multipolarity to a time of peace and American primacy. Challenging conventional wisdom about the causes of American primacy, Baron explores the contributions to peace made by democracy, nuclear weapons and globalization as well as the continued relevance of the balance of power. Providing new insights into major debates within the policy community, this book examines America's forward military presence, Western policy towards China and Russia, the evolution of the European Union and Japan's role in Asia. Baron raises important questions surrounding American primacy and the durability of the current international order, informing policy-making in the coming years as the United States attempts to manage the rise of China and secure its own leadership role and also considering how to maintain the current state of peace.