This was one of the few books that had a tremendous impact on my view of the World. Mr.Friedman clearly explained geopolitics and trends in past European and American history. I understand much better "war on terror" and reasons for war in Iraq and Afganistan and the balance of power. The ideas were logical and well supported. In my mind it "made sense". The true question is what can we do to prepare (and prosper) for those changes? How about part 2 Mr.Friedman?
This book is a good listen. I think the point of the book is beyond the predictions it espouses but rather the logic and geopolitical history that underpins his assertions. That said, he was pushing his luck by the end of the book with his "predictions" especially considering how quantum leaps in technology and "basic science" impacts society and culture (an issue only grazed on by the author).
I found it thorough and a good listen especially on Eastern European issues. Outside of North Africa he failed to discuss the rest of the continent. I find that to be a big oversight in the book given the history and role Africa has played (albeit not always voluntarily!) in global politics. So are readers to presume that the entire African subcontinent will not have any significant role in geopolitics in the next 100 years? He should have at least dedicated one chapter to Africa and its inter-relationships with the assertions he is making. That oversight leaves some holes in his strategic logic that diminishes the value in my mind. That said, it was worth a critical listening too. I will get a print copy when I'm book shopping too.
Friedman certainly knows his subject. As the founder of StratFor, he has access to incredible information from around the world, and years of experience piecing together how that information shapes the world we live in today. This book is the summation of that analysis extended to the next hundred years.
While one may not reach the same conclusions (e.g., China being less of a world leader than, say, Poland), you are sure to be challenged to think about his predictions...and perhaps alter your own! I was particularly taken by his discussion of the ascendancy of Mexico, having long thought that Mexico has unrealized potential (increasing education levels, for example).
I strongly recommend the book to anyone interested in what the next 30, 50 and 100 years may look like.
Excellent knowledge of his topic and exceptional understanding of geopolitics. If you are looking for an unbiased analysis of the facts and driving forces that shape the world, this is the book you need. Truely fantastic read.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and while I didn't agree with all the author's assertions his opinions were rational and well reasoned.
One has to commend the author for the courage to attempt to speak in such detail about the future. And it would seem easy to find small aspects of the fortune-telling to focus in on as flaws. One glaringly neglected area for me is the over-focus on geographically based Warfare without seemingly taking into account cyber warfare and the unimpeded access the internet provides.
If you're into politics and military confrontations I recommend this book for you. The story flowed and the narrator did a fine job. I plan on seeing what happens in the next hundred years so this book is a guide for me.
Highly speculative and without much documentation. Especially the part of war is overly detailed on such vague basis. I find more description of the trends leading to conclusions should be in focus.
Good performance by narrator.
Friedman plays a sprawling, intricate game of RISK with himself. If that sounds interesting to you, then be my guest, but mostly he got eye rolls from me. The level of hubris necessary for any individual to believe they can for see the next hundred years with any appreciable degree of accuracy is impressive. Friedman fails to appreciate butterfly effects. Nothing could have stopped the Mongol hordes from sweeping across all of Europe, except for Kubla Khan drinking himself to death. Could anybody have predicted the particular rise of Hitler before he was born? Suppose a terrorist detonates a nuclear bomb in our lifetime? And contrary to Friedman's assumptions, nations don't always play by some predetermined playbook.
He makes no attempt to account for the technological singularity. He presumes to know what technology will look like in practice in 80 years. And he admits that he never addresses global climate issues.
Mostly this book was a display of academic arrogance.