A book talk with Chris Miller, Assoc. Professor of International History, Fletcher School, Tufts University
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ABOUT THE BOOK
"If you care about technology, or America’s future prosperity, or its continuing security, this is a book you have to read.”
—Lawrence H. Summers, 71st U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and Charles W. Eliot University Professor at Harvard University
You may be surprised to learn that microchips are the new oil—the scarce resource on which the modern world depends. Today, military, economic, and geopolitical power are built on a foundation of computer chips. Virtually everything—from missiles to microwaves—runs on chips, including cars, smartphones, the stock market, even the electric grid. Until recently, America designed and built the fastest chips and maintained its lead as the #1 superpower, but America’s edge is in danger of slipping, undermined by players in Taiwan, Korea, and Europe taking over manufacturing. Now, as Chip War reveals, China, which spends more on chips than any other product, is pouring billions into a chip-building initiative to catch up to the US. At stake is America’s military superiority and economic prosperity.
Economic historian Chris Miller explains how the technology works and why it’s so important, recounting the fascinating events that led to the United States perfecting the chip design, and to America’s victory in the Cold War by using faster chips to render the Soviet Union’s arsenal of precision-guided weapons obsolete. But lately, America has let key components of the chip-building process slip out of its grasp, leading to a worldwide chip shortage and a new war brewing with a superpower adversary that is desperate to bridge the gap.
Illuminating, timely, and fascinating, Chip War shows that, to make sense of the current state of politics, economics, and technology, we must first understand the vital role played by chips.
ORDER THE BOOK
Order Chip War: The Fight for the World's Most Critical Technology from Simon & Schuster.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Miller is Associate Professor of International History at the Fletcher School at Tufts University, where his research focuses on technology, geopolitics, economics, international affairs, and Russia. He is the author of Chip War: The Fight for the World's Most Critical Technology, a geopolitical history of the computer chip. He is the author of three other books on Russia, including Putinomics: Power and Money in Resurgent Russia; We Shall Be Masters: Russia's Pivots to East Asia from Peter the Great to Putin; and The Struggle to Save the Soviet Economy: Mikhail Gorbachev and the Collapse of the USSR. He has previously served as the Associate Director of the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy at Yale, a lecturer at the New Economic School in Moscow, a visiting researcher at the Carnegie Moscow Center, a research associate at the Brookings Institution, and as a fellow at the German Marshall Fund's Transatlantic Academy. He received his PhD and MA from Yale University and his BA in history from Harvard University. For more information, see www.christophermiller.net.
ABOUT THE MODERATOR
Leslie Johns is a professor of political science and law at UCLA. She is also Associate Director of the Burkle Center for International Relations.
Her research focuses on international law, organizations, and political economy.
In 2022, Cambridge University Press published her newest book, Politics and International Law: Making, Breaking, and Upholding Global Rules. You can access related news stories on the book's Twitter account: @PoliticsIntlLaw
Her work appears in the American Political Science Review, International Organization, Journal of Conflict Resolution and the Journal of Politics. Her first book–Strengthening International Courts: The Hidden Costs of Legalization–was published in 2015 by the University of Michigan Press. She received the Michael Wallerstein Award for political economy in 2017.
She is a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a former research fellow at the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton University (2012-2013 and 2021-2022).