Mr. Zakaria has written a short primer (250+ pages of text) about where the world is today and the role he sees the United States playing in the future. His assessment, for the most part, is fair, balanced and nonpartisan. And though the title of his treatise--The Post-American World--sounds pessimistic, in reality Mr. Zakaria sees the glass half full.
The principal weakness of the book is a product of its brevity: the author paints in broad strokes, providing a sweeping assessment of the dynamic changes that have unfolded on the world scene over the past twenty-five years. This invariably results in some over-generalizations and assessments that are not sufficiently nuanced. For example, in responding to concerns about China's growing power and influence, he quotes several Chinese officials who repeatedly reassure the listener that, notwithstanding its recent advances, China still lags behind the United States in so many areas; consequently, it poses no real threat to...
The Post-American World: Release 2.0 by Fareed Zakaria
"The Post-American World" is the insightful book about world affairs and America's role. The author makes compelling arguments that it is the "rise of the rest" and not America's decline at the heart of this global era. This 336-page book is composed of the following seven chapters: 1. The Rise of the Rest, 2. The Cup Runneth Over, 3. A Non-Western World? 4. The Challenger, 5. The Ally, 6. American Power and 7. American Purpose.
Positives: 1. Well-written and well-researched book. 2. Accessible book for the masses. 3. A fascinating topic in the hands of a master. 4. An even-handed book. Mr. Zakaria is fair. 5. Engaging prose that offers countless anecdotes and interesting facts. 6. A lot of misconceptions put to rest: "Poverty is falling in countries housing 80 percent of the world's population". "War and organized violence have declined dramatically over the last two...
A lot of books have been appearing recently about the rise of China and India, the decline of the United States, and so forth. This is the one to read, and the one that will last.
Zakaria's last book was about "The Future of Freedom," a study of liberalism and democracy. This new one--which is even better, I think--is about the shape of the emerging international system. It's called "The Post-American World," but a better title would have been the one he gives his first chapter, "The Rise of the Rest." That's because Zakaria's central thesis is that the world is changing, but the change is largely for the better and caused by the benign development of other power centers, not some collapse or decline of the United States. The biggest challenge for America, he argues, is not terrorism or nuclear proliferation or a rising China, but rather our own ability to adapt successfully to the new environment. He favors confidence and openness rather than insecurity and barriers,...
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