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.
This is the only book I've read three times
After my first I went out and bought 10 copies for my family members. Some of his predictions have come true already. You'll be amazed at his predictions about immigration, global warming, war Great conversation starters especially relevant and reassuring after the recent election
Overall, it was a good book. My one caveat about this book is that the author forecasts the decline/collapse of Russia and China without really going into great detail why he thinks that. Of course, both countries could collapse due to their internal instability and set the stage for a rising Japan, Turkey, and Poland making moves on the Grand Chessboard while the US is the offshore balancer. That is certainly very interesting to think about.
The thing people have to understand is that the farther we look into the future, the more speculative it gets, and the more abstract it gets. I do like how the author uses impartial, unsentimental geopolitical forecasting to frame his thoughts about what could happen. Of course, he could be wrong about many things, and he acknowledges that, but his aim is to give the reader a feel of what is to come in the 21st century. In that sense, I think the author did a good job. A good.
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.