When Kori Schake was a senior at Stanford in 1984, she enrolled in a seminar on Soviet politics taught by Condoleezza Rice, then 29. The two young women hit it off. “I was a dreamy, impractical kid, and didn’t have a plan for what I was going to do after I graduated,” says Ms. Schake (pronounced “shocky”). “Condi saw me at loose ends and offered me a job as her research assistant.” They worked together for a year on a book about “elite selection in the military that Condi never ended up writing. But I read everything about what makes the American military tick. Everything.”
Thirty-four years later, Ms. Schake has written a book—her fourth—whose jacket carries a glowing blurb from her illustrious former professor. The book, “Safe Passage,” traces the international order’s transition from British to American hegemony. With all of the talk of China’s rise and what it will mean for the U.S., Ms. Schake says, she “got curious about the history of transitions between a rising power and an established global hegemon. The only peaceful transition in all of history, I found, is the one between Britain and the United States.” (Ms. Schake has made that transition in reverse. She moved earlier this month from Stanford to London, where she is an executive at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a defense think tank.)
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