FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books.
Only 4 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
The Breakdown of Nations has been added to your Basket
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Expedited shipping available on this book. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Breakdown of Nations Paperback – 26 Apr 2001

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£128.56
Paperback
"Please retry"
£9.95
£6.44 £5.46
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more
£9.95 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books. Only 4 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions


Frequently Bought Together

  • The Breakdown of Nations
  • +
  • Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics as if People Mattered
Total price: £19.93
Buy the selected items together

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Green Books; New edition edition (26 April 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1870098986
  • ISBN-13: 978-1870098984
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 15.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 55,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

This is the most important book written by the most original political thinker of the late 20th century. -- From the Foreword by Neal Ascherson

What is so striking about this book is the amazing relevance it has to our own affairs today. -- From the Foreword by Sir Richard Body

From the Publisher

We are delighted to bring this important book back into print. As Neal Ascherson says in his Foreword, it is "the most important book written by the most original political thinker of the late 20th century," and has much to contribute to the current debate about Britain's future relationship with Europe.

See all Product Description

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"The Breakdown of Nations" has been an underground classic for years. Kohr's philosophy can be summed up as, "When something is wrong, something is too big." Years before the present concern over globalization, Kohr was writing on the importance of de cen tralized systems of economic organization. Kohr's views are radical, but his delightful sense of humour and real affection for those with opposing opinions make his challenge to modern economic thought a joy to read. I don't agree with him most of the tim e, but I am always inspired by his original point of view.
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book makes many interesting points and some original ones, but unfortunately only about half make any sense or have any evidence from the real world to back them up.

Some of them make sense and some of them I even completely agree with - for instance that violence by individuals and military aggression and atrocities by states is likely to happen when they become so powerful that they see their rivals or victims won't be able to retaliate (he misses out one of the most obvious examples - the US testing its nuclear weapons on the civilian populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki after Japan was already defeated because it had nuclear weapons and none of its enemies or rivals did, so it could without fear of retaliation in kind - partly just to send the message that it had them and was willing to use them). This also explains why wars of very strong states against much weaker ones are much commoner (e.g Germany vs Czechoslovakia and Poland, Russia vs Georgia, China vs Tibet, US vs Vietnam, Soviet Union vs Afghanistan, Kosovo war, US vs Afghanistan, US vs Iraq) are far more common than major wars between world powers, where the attacker might suffer retaliation in kind and even lose. It also explains why there have been no wars between two nuclear armed stats.

However the book's core argument - that smaller is always better and that everything bad is the result of countries becoming too big, is far too simplistic and taken to such ludicrous extremes that it reduces itself to absurdity. I don't know if Kohr knows any ancient history - if he did i doubt he could claim that atrocities are always the result of states becoming too big or that increasing civilisation has led to greater atrocities. There were terrible atrocities throughout most of history.
Read more ›
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a book!! It pulsates with clarity, originality, wit and contemporary relevance. Part of his argument is that - just as companies grow large and inefficient and have to be broken up by Monopoly Commissions - so have States grown to a size that makes them dangerous. Remember he was an economist - and drafted the book in the early 1950s! He quotes the evidence there was even then that innovation came from small companies and that decreasing returns of scale set in early (evidence continues to accumulate that few company mergers are successful - and yet they continue).
In similar vein, he shows that cultural excellence was produced in small states - which may not have always been peaceful but whose wars with one another were short and limited in their damage. His early chapters are powerful statements that, when an organisation reaches the point of domination, it will always succumb to the temptation of aggression.
And he anticipates the more contemporary arguments of writers such as Fridjof Capra and Margaret Wheatley about what students of organisations can learn from physics and the new insights into "chaos" - by a simple observation about "atoms".
His main challenge, however, is to the principle of specialisation and you will find in chapter 6 - "The Efficiency of the Small". There he is merciless in his critique of the "wealth" of the "modern" world - daring to suggest that most of is useless and counter-productive and that people were happier in medieval times!
Read more ›
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This is an important book, laying out an alternative way to run the world - very relevant today with increasing dictatorial control of our lives.
A tedious read, but worth making the effort.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse


Feedback