Post-American World

Post-American World

3.7 83
by Fareed Zakaria
     
 

ISBN-10: 0393334805

ISBN-13: 2900393334806

Pub. Date: 05/04/2009

Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.

One of our most distinguished thinkers argues that the "rise of the rest" is the great story of our time.
"This is not a book about the decline of America, but rather about the rise of everyone else." So begins Fareed Zakaria's important new work on the era we are now entering. Following on the success of his best-selling The Future of Freedom, Zakaria describes…  See more details below

Overview

One of our most distinguished thinkers argues that the "rise of the rest" is the great story of our time.
"This is not a book about the decline of America, but rather about the rise of everyone else." So begins Fareed Zakaria's important new work on the era we are now entering. Following on the success of his best-selling The Future of Freedom, Zakaria describes with equal prescience a world in which the United States will no longer dominate the global economy, orchestrate geopolitics, or overwhelm cultures. He sees the "rise of the rest"—the growth of countries like China, India, Brazil, Russia, and many others—as the great story of our time, and one that will reshape the world. The tallest buildings, biggest dams, largest-selling movies, and most advanced cell phones are all being built outside the United States. This economic growth is producing political confidence, national pride, and potentially international problems. How should the United States understand and thrive in this rapidly changing international climate? What does it mean to live in a truly global era? Zakaria answers these questions with his customary lucidity, insight, and imagination.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2900393334806
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
05/04/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
336

Table of Contents

1 The Rise of the Rest 1

2 The Cup Runneth Over 6

3 A Non-Western World? 49

4 The Challenger 87

5 The Ally 129

6 American Power 167

7 American Purpose 215

Notes 261

Acknowledgments 269

Index 273

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The Post-American World 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 82 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fareed Zakaria rose to prominence on account of the terrible Sept 11 tragedies, he the rare Muslim journalist at the top levels of the American press. Through this book he seeks to broaden his claim to expertise, not merely as an analyst of the war on terrorism but as a seer in every sense. For that ambition alone, this book is fatally flawed. It attempts a subject so stupendous that even a lifelong expert like Paul Kennedy came up short with his 'Rise and Fall of Great Powers.' So Fareed surely does, especially since his commentary on the Iraq war was dead wrong to begin with and has only turned critical once the country became so. Yet the writing is fluid, flowing far better and faster than any writer other than Thomas Friedman. The book covers the rise of India, China, and the 'rest.' It never really focuses on other countries though, but gives a lot of hard evidence of how and why the world has speeded up its growth and how and why the US is falling behind. Not because Americans are doing something wrong but because the rest of the world is doing so much right. The book is well written and likely to be popular and in all probability will end up on college curriculums, much like Thomas Friedman and Howard Zinn and Niall Ferguson have. Yet it is flawed to the point of being dangerous and is so for the following reasons. 1. It stands to teach political economy to millions of people who shall never take a class in political economy. So they would never realize that the author lacks the big picture thinking which the great historians and political economists usually have. Fatally, he compares the 'Rise of the Rest' with the 'rise of the United States' and the 'rise of the Western World.' There is a problem here. The US rose upon a stunning technological revolution which it itself produced, at home, starting with the telegraph, telephone, airplane, the radio, the TV and the Internet. Neither China nor India nor Egypt has ever produced any substantial technology except body shopping. Some have cited about how mathematics was invented in India but so was much invented in Rome. There is no reason to go back thousands of years to prove a country's genius. All that matters is what they do today. To this date, there is no evidence that a power can rise without such innovative intrinsic achievements. AND IT MUST DO THAT ON ITS OWN AT HOME. In that sense then, China and India are more like Spain, building palaces out of the gold of the New World, and headed to become like Japan, rich and capable but rarely a leader in any domain. That is a lesson of political economy Fareed Zakaria should have read before embarking on this book. 2. Fareed Zakaria obviously reads vigorously and cuts newspaper articles voraciously. That is obvious in his sources and anecdotes. But those are really clumsy ways to attempt a subject so significant as the rise and fall of nations. Here may I recommend Paul Kennedy's Rise and Fall of Great Empires for the historical perspective and if one must know about the Rise of the Rest then all the books on 'Chindia,' any one of which is better than this one. Those books focus on what the ground reality is, which is impressive, without jumping to strategic insights which are off the mark. 3. The author lacks perspective. Yes China's Macao is bigger than America's Las Vegas, but who but the poor of the world ever go to Macao. Yes India has the world's largest refinery, but the machinery and technology is all bought from the West. Yes Dubai is building the world's tallest building, but who cares, Silicon Valley has no building taller than 20 stories! Yes Singapore has the largest Ferris Wheel, but they are copying American culture. Yes a Mexican is the world's richest man but his cell phone empire has never produced a half way decent cell phone or transmission technology. Yes India has more billionaire's than any country outside the US, and no Fareed, you have it wrong, few if any are self made. I r
Guest More than 1 year ago
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, and makes a convincing case. The book has chapters on each of the major international players, and they're really well done: amazingly, he manages to paint a full portrait of, say, China or India that is intelligent, succinct, subtle, and comprehensive all at once. If you want to get a flavor of what the book has to offer, there's an article based on it in the new issue of Foreign Affairs, and there should be another one coming out in Newsweek too, apparently. The man might be a superachieving bigshot, but he sure can write--each page is lively and interesting. So forget the angry neocons, the wild-eyed optimists, the gloom-and-doom pessimists, and the glib amateurs who don't really know anything. Read this instead, and get insight into what's actually going in the world and what should be done about it. Plus, there's just a ton of fun little nuggets you'll be itching to drop in every conversation you have about anything related.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An interesting read and an interesting concept on the readjustment of world powers. I found it to be repetitive and wordy. Could have been shorter and still have delivered the same message.
MGBCRB More than 1 year ago
Zakaria is a wonderful writer and I have read two of his previous books. While I generally agree with his premise regarding the emerging economies of India and China, I think he gives short shrift to social factors in both countries (caste prejudice in India, massive rural vs urban income disparity in both countries, immature property rights, basic freedoms and legal business structures in China) that can serve to limit their growth. I think China has more to worry about on this score than India. This book is especially enlightening if read along with Zakaria's "The Future of Freedom". I would recommend this book to anyone who wishes a very balanced discussion of the coming economics of this century.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If only a small portion of the world leaders understood history and finance like Mr Zakaria, we could all steer well clear of the troubles that plague us today. This should be required reading for every congressman, ambassador and financier who needs to undertstand the "world-view" of cultural differences and how they drive the details of an international government based on a Western model. A perfect primer for the any-man approach to understanding how and why the world changes, empires rise and fall, how history is made and what America has to do to retain it's title as a Superpower.
Used_Up More than 1 year ago
An excellent book about how the "rise of the rest" (China, India and other nations in the developing world) impacts the world and the US position in it. Often books like these skew towards bashing the US and painting a overly dim view of us as Americans and our future. However, in this case Zakaria does an excellent job of explaining how the US came to dominate the world politically, economically and militarily and what aspects of our national character and culture can be harnessed to return our country to that position.
Guest More than 1 year ago
So far I am reading the second chapter in this book and I am doing so with a New Yorker's skepticism. Might as well sat down with the newstand vendor at the subway station on my way to work this morning and listen to his insight on world economy. 'Changes even sea changes take place gradually,' I read in the first chapter. By using these comparison, Zakaria should try selling me a bridge next. I am grateful I read the previous reviewer's comment, who articulated an excellent rebuttal FREE of charge, much better than the hardcover price. AHH the economy!! Still, I offer 3 stars for asking an important question about the USA's current status from an international vewpoint. I'll seek else where for answers.
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jeremyisenberg More than 1 year ago
Zakaria is a great global thinker. His analysis, backed up with facts and figures, presents a picture of the world many of us struggle to see. This work is a must-have for anyone interested in international relations
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