The book's main premise and Friedman's concern, at least how he states it in the introduction is that America has become an empire because it is now the sole major power in the world. Friedman builds a solid argument here and then moves on to describe his concern that the US is immature and our republic may not survive managing the empire. In his view, the Presidency is the major institution of government that can manage the empire and the republic. He makes a good case for how President Bush lost his balance in responding so strongly to the attacks of 09/11 and initiating a war on terror that can not be won, and has shifted America's focus from other major threats such as a resurgent Russia.
Friedman does a good job of laying out the foreign policy challenges the US faces in the next decade and offers prescriptions of what should be done to manage our long-term interests. Some of these are very counter intuitive to general thinking, but they make sense within the general framework he advocates to maintain America's interests. The chapters on what policy actions to take are the books strength.
The book's weakness, however, is the limited prescriptions as to what the President must do to manage the Republic while responding to these challenges. He cites Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Reagan as three astute role models, while acknowledging they each pursued duplicitous strategies in some cases to achieve a moral objective. He notes the flaws in an idealistic or realistic approach to foreign policy and how a more nuanced view is needed. And while he describes how the President must communicate to citizens, he does not offer any solid definition of how the President must interact with Congress or the Judiciary. He does suggest that we need a more rationalized administration developing foreign policy. I think this book could have been much better if it was co-written with a political governance expert.
The material in this selection is entertaining, but hardly anything new. Most of the material comes from presentations by Zig Ziglar, Brian Flanagan, and lastly, Tom Ziglar, Zig's son. Throughout the presentations, there is mention of selling to a particular style, but that chapter is missing from the material. The problem is that Chapter 3 on the audio is the same as chapter 1. When you look at the downloadable supporting material, the problem is evident.
Beyond the error, however, the sections are entertaining as presenters, and they do help one begin to understand that there is a psychology to selling that the best sales people master. Techniques to address these challenges vary from types of closes to voice inflection. Zig Ziglar mentions two books of his that he recommends everyone read for more depth. I agree that one should, but am not sure one needs to listen to this audio. Better to buy the other books.
In general, most of the material in this book appears to be recycled as packaging to encourage other purchases. If this is your first listen to sales material, it will be entertaining and an acceptable first listen. Do not expect too much however.
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