The Post-American World

The Post-American World

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Book - 2011
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Fareed Zakaria's international bestseller The Post-American World pointed to the "rise of the rest"--the growth of countries like China, India, Brazil, and others--as the great story of our time, the story that will undoubtedly shape the future of global power. Since its publication, the trends he identified have proceeded faster than anyone could have anticipated. The 2008 financial crisis turned the world upside down, stalling the United States and other advanced economies. Meanwhile emerging markets have surged ahead, coupling their economic growth with pride, nationalism, and a determination to shape their own future.In this new edition, Zakaria makes sense of this rapidly changing landscape. With his customary lucidity, insight, and imagination, he draws on lessons from the two great power shifts of the past 500 years--the rise of the Western world and the rise of the United States--to tell us what we can expect from the third shift, the "rise of the rest." The great challenge for Britain was economic decline. The challenge for America now is political decline, for as others have grown in importance, the central role of the United States, especially in the ascendant emerging markets, has already begun to shrink. As Zakaria eloquently argues, Washington needs to begin a serious transformation of its global strategy, moving from its traditional role of dominating hegemon to that of a more pragmatic, honest broker. It must seek to share power, create coalitions, build legitimacy, and define the global agenda--all formidable tasks.None of this will be easy for the greatest power the world has ever known--the only power that for so long has really mattered. America stands at a crossroads: In a new global era where the United States no longer dominates the worldwide economy, orchestrates geopolitics, or overwhelms cultures, can the nation continue to thrive?
Publisher: New York : W. W. Norton, c2011
ISBN: 9780393081800
Branch Call Number: 303.49 ZAK 2011 22
Characteristics: xiii, 314 p

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DBRL_KrisA Dec 19, 2016

America has been at the top of the heap for roughly the last 100 years, economically, politically and militarily. This is a good, clear explanation of how that's about to change - not because of something we're doing wrong, but because of what the "2nd-tier" nations like Brazil, Russia, and especially India and China are doing right. Zakaria breaks down how the US got into the position of world leader, what has happened to previous world leaders like us, how these developing countries are poised to overtake us economically, and what we need to do to continue to matter in the new world. He makes sure to clarify that this is not about what's wrong with America, but more about how the world is changing and how we need to change to continue to matter. My only real complaint about the book is actually a problem with myself - I have this strange inability to understand economics, and this book is, at its base, about the US's waning economic power. But as a student of international studies, I enjoyed how Zakaria recognized that it's all tied together - economics, military power, foreign policy, religion and other cultural factors all have a bearing on how nations interact with each other. It will take a complete mindshift in our understanding of other countries for us to continue to be relevant.

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IV27HUjg
Nov 05, 2015

Zakaria writes for the layman in terms easy to grasp. Highly satisfied & recommended. He gives me so much to think about.

SFPL_RicardoA Jan 28, 2015

Because of its title, Fareed Zakaria's The Post-American World may lead readers to believe that this book predicts the decline of the U.S. as a world superpower. But as the author explains early in the book, his intentions are to describe "the rise of the rest" in the global stage. Zakaria's thesis is that we are entering a world order in which there will be many superpowers, not only one. Interestingly, their power will not lie in their military might, but in their economic prowess.

Perhaps not all of Zakaria's predictions will come to pass, but he certainly makes a strong case to support this new global scenario. This is an important book and a must read for those interested in international affairs and what the role of the U.S. should be in the 21st century. An updated version was published in 2011.

l
Liber_vermis
Dec 10, 2012

While I was sympathetic to the major theme of this book I found Zakaria's memory of past events to be spotty and his assessment of American motives to be rose-tinged at best or naive. He gives only passing attention to the looming threats of peak oil and global climate change on China and India as well as the United States.

s
Stevenarntson
Jul 03, 2012

I mentioned this title in the ongoing review series "Literary Counterparts."

http://www.stevenarntson.com/2012/07/literary-counterparts-jekyll-hydenss.html

k
kgillo
Apr 14, 2012

A great economic/political overview of the world as it is and what Fareed Zakaria sees it becoming. Definitely worth reading.

h
hertz
Jun 14, 2011

If I had to recommend a book to a stranger that would offer insight into the global position America finds itself in today, this would be at the top of my list. Especially at the beginning, it does offer a gleaming vision of optimism about our state of human progress and achievement.
Some criticisms: A tendency to gloss over highly complex issues with general-isms and stereotypes in convenient arguments. For instance, claiming that Americans as a whole are insular, save little, and are bent on consumption. Also, while the American Muslim community may be moderate on the surface, I am sure there is a wealth of diversity, just as every human being cannot be categorized neatly.
Also, I have to lament the growing tendency to over-emphasize numbers and materialism. How soul-grinding to read pages of arguments about GDP's, population growth rates, IPO's, and naval statistics.
Life is more than a set of figures, and should never be deadened to the fetish of accounting.
Lastly, China and India are rightly given plenty of space, yet other important emerging nations, such as Brazil, Mexico, Russia, and Indonesia, are barely acknowledged as fellow nations in the global scene.

2
21288004246712
Oct 05, 2008

the global big picture

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