In 1975, Emmanuel Todd predicted the decline and fall of the Soviet Union, drawing on research from cultural anthropology and demography as well as economics.
At the time his findings challenged a conventional wisdom that saw in the Communist world a dynamic and growing challenge to the West.
Generations of Kremlinologists may not have known much, but they knew that Todd was wrong - until 1989, that is, when conventional wisdom retired hurt.
Now Todd returns to the debate on the future of international power relations with another startling prediction.
Far from being at the apogee of its power, the United States of America is now locked in the messy and disruptive logic of decline. Because the world has long relied on America as a source of stability, it is now desperately important for us to find a way to contain the shock waves from America's impending collapse as the sole superpower.
This is not a book from an anti-American, and you will not find a smooth recitation of the standard arguments of Left or Right.
It is that unfashionable thing - a determined and unembarrassed attempt to tell the truth.