t's an american-centric view of the world, with forecasts based on historical and geopolitical motivations. Very interesting perspectives, to be taken with a pinch of salt. Good book.
Friedman was the founder of Statfor, a fact that he shys away from in this book. Sratfor gathers intelligence, through a geopolitical perspective, and then provides said intelligence for Fortune 500 companies, U.S. government, and private companies. So, don't feel like this is just another nutjob with a laptop and a world map. All in all, i feel like this is at least interesting, and stimulates the brain cells. I feel like, he may have a few of the details off, but he's on the right track. An amazing book, and eye-opening when so many of us are caught in the day to day news source from liberal media giants, like CNN, and conservative propagandists like Fox. Definately, a good choice.
Friedman, the brain behind STRATFOR, a private intelligence service, lays out the next century. This is geo-politics on a grand level. Russia waning, China in turmoil, Poland vs. Turkey, Japanese moon bases, and Mexico reclaiming Texas. It makes me look at today's headlines in a different fashion.
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.
Absolutely no research.
The book was enjoyable, like a book of jokes. The USA would dominate because programming language is in English.
imho - ymmv
For the first few chapters I was sold - some fascinating analysis of the forces that shape culture and history.
Unfortunately these were the ones that largely dealt with the past and present. When it came to discussing the future (most of the rest of the book), it totally jumped the shark.
At one point the author writes "this may seem like science fiction". Well, yes, but *bad* science fiction - you know, the kind that is unintentionally steampunk because it doesn't recognise just how many anachronistic assumptions it projects into the future?
It is kind of pointless to delve into a point-by-point rebuttal, as there is no reason why I should be any better than the author at predicting the future. But I can probably summarise my disquiet in a couple of themes:
1. Technology - The author massively underestimates and seems quite blind to the impact of technology, especially computing. The internet only gets a passing reference and is not linked to any major factors in the author's thesis. Worse yet, some of the author's most important points are founded on assumptions that are already being eroded by technology in 2013. Case in point is the surveillance and command-and-control imperatives that the author believes will lead to the US establishing "battlestars" in space, which in turn will lead to "World War III" .. yet we are already seeing advances in terrestrial drones outstrip even what the author believe battlestars will be capable of in another 30 years.
2. Sovereign States - there seems to be an underlying assumption that sovereign states are really the only actors on the stage that will shape how history unfolds. It all feels very 18th century - I'm not even sure this is true now, let alone for the next 100 years. It ignores the fact that people are getting harder to control en-masse thanks to globalisation and communications (who predicted the "Arab Spring"?), and it diminishes the influence of other forces, like corporations, or even nature (climate change or not). I'd believe the author's moon settlements more if he cast them as products of private enterprise - lead by the likes of Elon Musk aka Tony Stark - rather than a phoenix-like re-emergence of massive government space programs.
Rating the book is an unexpected quandary. On the one hand, I was engaged enough to enjoy reading to the end. However it was more with comic relief than any sense that I was exploring what might really happen this century. And for a book that is purportedly to be about the future to leave me totally incredulous is kind of the ultimate sin, hence the 1-star.
So unless you are an academic who needs to research everything, I think time might be better spent re-watching something like "Terminator", or "The Day After Tomorrow" - far more enjoyable, and probably just as likely visions of the future. Or more constructively, read Black Swan, because they too seem to be missing from this story.
This is an intermittently interesting extension of current events 100 years into the future. It was written in 2010, and I listened in mid-2014, and it has already begun to veer off the road. I fear that Friedman's projection of Russia's collapse in the 2020s is a bit of wishful thinking, and the lapse of China into irrelevancy in the 2030s is even more fanciful.
Nonetheless, he presents some interesting ways of thinking about current world events and geopolitics. However these ideas wear very thin after a short while, and his notions about space-based conflict in 2050 appear little more than Science Fantasy, given that none of the technology necessary appear to be under any kind of development.
One George Friedman is probably enough for me.