A fan of Zakaria on TV and Newsweek, I really expected to like this book, and I wasn't disappointed for the most part.
Offers a cultural and historical perspective on China and India and how they now relate to the world and the US in particular. I was surprised by a section in the middle seemingly designed to boost up wussy American sensibilities and self esteem(the stats that say Americans graduate less engineers than India are wrong! The US is still great at x and y!). But Zakaria moves forward, giving us an interesting comparison to the actions of the US super power of today and how the former super power Imperial Britain lost that rank. The book ends with suggestions on how the US can stop its often hypocritical and dictating foreign policies and perhaps try to stop alienating friendly foreigners and immigrants alike. They are sensible and often boil down to "listen and respect others."
I wonder how he might update his discussions on the world economies after the current economic collapse. He alludes to some potential problems, which of course are more obvious to me given the benefit of hindsight.
I also liked the author's narration.
Couldn't finish it. Didn't like or care about Lee; could not understand or accept the motivations of the characters; and I think too I didn't like the female narrator's take on the male voices. In the end, annoying.
Some topics are a bit duller than others, but what I enjoyed was the descriptions of these scientific theories through the scientists that study them. The focus was on the history of these scientists, their squabbling or cooperation, and how the funding (or lack thereof) affected our general knowledge of these topics. An interesting take on how all scientific theory depends on those choosing to study and publish and thus the development of noble Science is just as biased and flawed as any human pursuit.
Not as good as Devil in the White City, but a similar format following scientist Marconi and contemporary EveryMan-turned-murderer Dr. Crippen. I enjoyed the historical descriptions of the development of wireless communication, including the personal jealousies and enemy-making practices of the scientists/engineers involved. The turn of that century seemed to be a point where the gentleman's scientific pursuit for shared knowledge butted heads with patented technology for commercial gain.
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