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The Next Decade: Where We've Been . . . and Where We're Going | [George Friedman]

The Next Decade: Where We've Been . . . and Where We're Going

In The Next Decade, George Friedman offers readers a pro­vocative and endlessly fascinating prognosis for the immedi­ate future. Using Machiavelli’s The Prince as a model, Friedman focuses on the world’s leaders - particularly the American president - and with his trusted geopolitical insight analyzes the complex chess game they will all have to play.
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Publisher's Summary

The author of the acclaimed New York Times bestseller The Next 100 Years now focuses his geopolitical forecasting acumen on the next decade and the imminent events and challenges that will test America and the world, specifically addressing the skills that will be required by the decade’s leaders.

The next ten years will be a time of massive transition. The wars in the Islamic world will be subsiding, and terrorism will become something we learn to live with. China will be encountering its crisis. We will be moving from a time when financial crises dominate the world to a time when labor shortages will begin to dominate. The new century will be taking shape in the next decade.

In The Next Decade, George Friedman offers readers a pro­vocative and endlessly fascinating prognosis for the immedi­ate future. Using Machiavelli’s The Prince as a model, Friedman focuses on the world’s leaders - particularly the American president - and with his trusted geopolitical insight analyzes the complex chess game they will all have to play. The book also asks how to be a good president in a decade of extraordinary challenge, and puts the world’s leaders under a microscope to explain how they will arrive at the decisions they will make - and the consequences these actions will have for us all.

©2011 George Friedman (P)2011 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

“There is a temptation, when you are around George Friedman, to treat him like a Magic 8-Ball.″ (New York Times Magazine)

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  •  
    Michael Pittston, PA, United States 01-31-11
    Michael Pittston, PA, United States 01-31-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Jaw-dropping apolitical analysis"

    Friedman's analysis in this book is neither left nor right, neither liberal nor conservative. As a conservative myself, his cynical view of the American "empire" and practical Machiavellian insights into sound foreign policy contradict my idealistic higher moral calling toward "liberty and justice for all mankind". In fact, now that I think of it, it could be argued that Obama's soft call towards the Middle East may be just what we need to restore stalemate-stability in a region that would be devastating to US prosperity and security were it to unite under a common banner. This and other cold, hard insights on the unintended American hegemony make this the must-read book of the year, if not the decade. I have not read his previous books, so those of who know Friedman may be like, "yeah, we know he's good", but this is my first (and definitely not last) read from this author. You high-minded Tea-Party moralists and Left-wing ivy league idealogues would be foolish not to get a second opinion on how the world really operates from an internationally recognized expert on geopolitical analysis. Get it, read it, let your jaws hit the floor. Mine did.

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roy Beaumont, TX, United States 01-26-11
    Roy Beaumont, TX, United States 01-26-11 Member Since 2005
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    "Very Practical Geo-Political Orientation"

    I am a fan of George Friedman and he has provided a great service to readers who are interested in the geo-political furture faced by the US over the next decade. This is a terribly informative and stimulating analysis and outline of the broad issues that will confront the country. While his previous book, "The Next 100 Years" is interesting, this volume is of a shorter time horizon and, therefore, less conjecture is involved. For that reason, I enjoyed this one a great deal more than the prior. He opens the book with a discussion of the role that the POSTUS will need to play internationally. This discussion was at once disturbing to me and really enlightening about the nature of powerful leaders and leadership. He follows by discussing blancing various actors on the world stage (India/Paskistan; Russia/German and so on). He also has some thought provoking insights into the future of Asia in general and China in particular. In a particularly forceful portion of the book, Friedman defines "deep power" and explains why the US is the only super power and will probably remain so - assuming that the POTUS assumes the appropriate leadership stance that Friedman presents. The writing is very good and the reading of Bruce Turk is excellent. This is a book that everyone interested in the future of the country and votes should read.

    13 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nikolay Maroni, Cyprus 02-03-11
    Nikolay Maroni, Cyprus 02-03-11
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    "Second thought pleasure"

    This is my second book by George Friedman and I'm a strong advocate for his books. I encourage my friends to read this book, though make their opinion on Mr.s Friedman's logic.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason J. Sharon Charleston, SC 10-30-12
    Jason J. Sharon Charleston, SC 10-30-12 Member Since 2012
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    "This should be required reading for all Americans."

    I originally rented this from Cracker Barrel. I liked it so much I bought it here and listened to it 2 more times. There is a slight liberal lean to it, but that is palatable. I learned so much, I can not even describe. The mistake of Iraq is so painfully obvious when you listen to this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel WI, WI, United States 01-03-12
    Daniel WI, WI, United States 01-03-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Very thorough yet understandable"

    Much like "America's Secret War", the title does no justice to the content. This book is captivating in the author's strongly founded opinions on the direction of global affairs and how in fact the presidency matters only in so much in how the president responds to current issues (and the impact they will have on the next decade.) Very good read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    victoria Hangzhou, China 02-12-11
    victoria Hangzhou, China 02-12-11
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    "insightful information"

    I had finished half of the book ,so far I liked it pretty much.

    Lots of interesting information about geopolitics. The author spends more pages writting about what had happened in the last fifty years than predicting what would happen in the next decade.That's not what I had expected,but still ok, interesting content.

    If you are someone who aleady knew a lot on geopolitics, you won't find too much news in this book.But if you are not, I highly recommend this book, after 9 hours listening, you will have a more clear,deeper view on geopolitics.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Cleveland Heights, OH, United States 02-08-11
    Daniel Cleveland Heights, OH, United States 02-08-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Challenges Ahead for America's Leadership"

    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.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CHESTER LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 06-18-14
    CHESTER LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 06-18-14 Member Since 2007

    Chet Yarbrough, an audio book addict, exercises two cocker spaniels twice a day with an Ipod in his pocket and earbuds in his ears. Hope these few reviews seduce the public into a similar obsession but walk safely and be aware of the unaware.

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    "AMERICAN EMPIRE"

    “The Next Decade” is a provocative book. Political Science is an oxymoron but George Friedman, a Political Science Ph.D., rivals Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527) in his cynical assessment of world politics in the 21stcentury. Friedman suggests that this is the age of American empire. He believes America is on the precipice of decline without a re-evaluation of its role in the world.

    America is an aircraft carrier in a sea of agile boats. The boats are less substantial vessels (smaller political factions) but they can maneuver faster and have equal or greater effect on public opinion. The obvious example is al-Qaida’s New York terrorist attack that killed 3,000 innocents. That single act changed worldwide transportation security, instigated America’s invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, and opened the door to a new balance of power in the Middle East.

    America may be a third Empire in history but one may doubt its ability to rule in “The Next Decade” based on 21st century’ events and actions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mario Celaya, Mexico 05-29-14
    Mario Celaya, Mexico 05-29-14 Member Since 2011
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    "You'll end up smarter just by reading it."
    Any additional comments?

    I first read The Next One Hundred Years; I thought that the exercise of trying to look so much into the future was too speculative. The Next Decade is, in my opinion, a much better book and given that some of the predictions of the author are already happening, the Russian annexation of Crimea as an example, this book is becoming scarily accurate. More than a futurist book, the author really understands geopolitics and his premise of recognizing that the US is, for all intended purposes, an empire is dead on. He explains the appropriate strategies the US would be wise to follow and gives us a glimpse of what past administrations have done to manipulate other countries into rivalries and alliances with the objective of maintaining balance, the book is not about right and wrong but about what works for maintaining a strong position in the world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anja Schmidt Denmark 11-12-13
    Anja Schmidt Denmark 11-12-13 Member Since 2006

    k11923

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    "Good points and ideas about the near future"
    What made the experience of listening to The Next Decade the most enjoyable?

    Good explications about the present state of everything and thoughts about the future accordingly.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    He seems to have a good knowledge about politics and political structure in most of the world.


    What does Bruce Turk bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Nothing special.


    If you could give The Next Decade a new subtitle, what would it be?

    What would it take to keep the world stable while constantly balancing on the edge of disaster.


    Any additional comments?

    -

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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