Chip War reveals how we can’t make sense of politics, economics or technology today without first understanding the central role played by computer chips in shaping the modern world. But the West's lead in this area is under threat. At stake is America's military superiority and the economic prosperity of democratic nations.
Power in the modern world - military, economic, geopolitical - is built on a foundation of computer chips. America has maintained its lead as a superpower because it has dominated advances in computer chips and all the technology that chips have enabled. (Virtually everything runs on chips: cars, phones, the stock market, even the electric grid.) Now that edge is in danger of slipping, undermined by the naïve assumption that globalising the chip industry and letting players in Taiwan, Korea and Europe take over manufacturing serves America's interests. Currently, as Chip War reveals, China, which spends more on chips than any other product, is pouring billions into a chip-building Manhattan Project to catch up to the US.
In Chip War economic historian Chris Miller recounts the fascinating sequence of events that led to the United States perfecting chip design, and how faster chips helped defeat the Soviet Union (by rendering the Russians’ arsenal of precision-guided weapons obsolete). The battle to control this industry will shape our future. China spends more money importing chips than buying oil, and they are China's greatest external vulnerability as they are fundamentally reliant on foreign chips. But with 37 per cent of the global supply of chips being made in Taiwan, within easy range of Chinese missiles, the West's fear is that a solution may be close at hand.
'A remarkable book…The devil is in the details, and it is there where Chris Miller is at his best…An eye-popping work, a unique combination of economic and technological - and strategic - analysis.' -- Paul Kennedy, author of The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers
'Chris Miller's brain works like the computer chip he writes about. It is packed with dizzying, complex circuitry that results in sparkling clarity. He has written not only an amazing story, but also one of overwhelming importance that is both taut in style and epic in scope.' -- Robert D. Kaplan, author of The Revenge of Geography
About the Author
Chris Miller is Assistant Professor of International History at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He also serves as Eurasia Director at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, a think tank in Philadelphia, and as a Director at Greenmantle, a New York and London-based macroeconomic and geopolitical consultancy. He is the author of three previous books, and he frequently writes for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and other outlets. He received a PhD in history from Yale University and an AB in history from Harvard University. Currently, he resides in Cambridge, MA.