The Post-American World Audiobook | Fareed Zakaria | Audible.com
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The Post-American World | [Fareed Zakaria]

The Post-American World

For Fareed Zakaria, the great story of our times is not the decline of America but rather the rise of everyone else - the growth of countries such as China, India, Brazil, Russia, South Africa, Kenya, and many, many more. This economic growth is generating a new global landscape where power is shifting and wealth and innovation are bubbling up in unexpected places.
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Publisher's Summary

For Fareed Zakaria, the great story of our times is not the decline of America but rather the rise of everyone else - the growth of countries such as China, India, Brazil, Russia, South Africa, Kenya, and many, many more.

This economic growth is generating a new global landscape where power is shifting and wealth and innovation are bubbling up in unexpected places. It's also producing political confidence and national pride. As these trends continue, the push of globalization will increasingly be joined by the pull of nationalism - a tension that is likely to define the next decades.

With his customary lucidity, insight, and imagination, Zakaria draws on lessons from the two great power shifts of the past 500 years - the rise of the Western world and the rise of the United States - to tell us what we can expect from the third shift, the "rise of the rest".

Washington must begin a serious transformation of global strategy and seek to share power, create coalitions, build legitimacy, and define the global agenda. None of this will be easy for the greatest power the world has ever known - the only power that for so long has really mattered. But all that is changing now. The future we face is the post-American world.

©2008 Fareed Zakaria; (P)2008 Simon and Schuster, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"A definitive handbook for political and business leaders who want to succeed in a global era." (Walter Isaacson, author of Einstein: His Life and Universe)

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  •  
    Gus Elmhurst, IL, USA 08-28-08
    Gus Elmhurst, IL, USA 08-28-08
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    "The Rise of Chindia"

    Mr. Zakaria's perspective on what's happening in the world outside of the US framework is a compelling and somewhat entertaining account of what we, Americans, must wake up to. This book is a must read for those who want to understand how we can tackle foreign policy in years to come and why the US foreign policy of the last 25 years have been a total disaster. However, this book concentrates on the "Chindia Rise"--i.e. China and India--and leaves much of the rest to superficial speculations. The analysis on China and India are well documented and referenced, but not so that of the rest of the world--i.e. South America, Africa and even Europe--which are also going through so profound transformations as those experienced in China and India.

    This book provides an insightful perspective on the socio-economic idiosyncrasy of Chinese and Indian cultures--skillfully translated to the American mentality. Zakaria gives us a wake-up call on how those two countries can, and will, become US competitors in the global market and trade politics. Perhaps the most important point we can get from this book is that the US government and its people must get educated on the realities and "rise of the rest of the world", and the contradictory and hegemonic stance of the US government foreign policy. We have been to busy identifying our next enemies rather than our next friends.

    Mr. Zakaria presents his views from a journalistic perspective--full of newspaper headlines and Google's sounds bites--rather than a scholar perspective; as a result, some of the statements may sound superficial or naive. He talks very little about how energy issues are having a significant impact on US and world economy, including the Russia's re-birth and the leftist socialistic trends in South America.

    This is the perfect audio-book. It is easy to listen to and somewhat entertaining with numerous anecdotes from the author. I highly recommend it.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Kelly 06-26-08
    Chris Kelly 06-26-08 Member Since 2004
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    "A not quite so frantic view of the current world"

    There's a lot out there today on how terrible the situation is right now in the US--the economy is in the tank, the political situation is miserable, our educational system is routinely beaten by third world countries. While Zakaria is certainly aware of the negatives, he provides a more balanced perspective on the current political-economic situation, stressing a lot of the positives you won't hear on news shows. When he says Post-American World he means a world where America is not powerful enough to force its will on any situation it wants, a world where America has to take the perspectives of other countries into account, not one where America is only the dominant player.

    I thought the chapter on China was an excellent analysis, again looking at China's strengths and weaknesses. His understanding of why China acts the way it does in Darfur is insightful. His take on America is similarly balanced, one perhaps only an immigrant could provide.

    All in all, if you read the op-ed pages or listen to the news talk shows, a worthwhile listen.







    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald Arlington, VA, US 06-01-08
    Donald Arlington, VA, US 06-01-08 Member Since 2005
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    "Worthwhile"

    In my opinion not as good as his first book. Post-American World rambles a bit, making first the main point covered much more insightfully in FZ's first book (capitalism, not democracy, is the path of successful nations' development), then moving on to a macro description of China (interesting), India (not so much), and the United States (very interesting). His fundamental point is more intuitive than profound: America is and will remain a great power, but other nations (especially China, India) will rise in relative importance. FZ has a rare ability to quote facts and data that support/refute such typically unsupported macro descriptions such as level of centralization / socialism, and one can't finish a book of his without learning some very interesting things about our world and the U.S. I always wish, however, that he would build on his detailed understanding to give some practical prescriptions for policy makers. He attempts to do so at the end of this book, but his list of "rules for a new age" is academic (go figure) and therefore seems more interesting than actionable, for example "Choose - set priorities," "Be Bismark not Britain," "Legitimacy is Power." Overall, I'd recommend the book, and I would strongly recommend his first, "The Future of Freedom."

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Bargersville, IN, USA 06-10-09
    Jeff Bargersville, IN, USA 06-10-09 Member Since 2004
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    "Very good insights offered fairly"

    As a conservative and political junkie, I have to take issue with some of the other comments. A reader doesn't have to agree with every point or accept every assertion as accurate to find real thinking value in a piece. This is not an anti-American book at all. If fuses some really startling points on how through our nation's global successes (economic and political) we have succeeded in helping the world to change and grow so quickly that our position as a sole superpower is challenged from the rise of other nations more than our own decline. If you believe competition is good, are optimistic about American ingenuity, and are not afraid of the new inter-related world, there's a great deal in this book to excite. If you're looking for the same old stale rhetoric about America and the world stage (anti or pro American), you may not like this piece. For those not afraid to think outside of the box, you'll get a lot from this book.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Bargersville, IN, United States 06-10-09
    Jeff Bargersville, IN, United States 06-10-09 Member Since 2004
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    "Very good insights offered fairly"

    As a conservative and political junkie, I have to take issue with some of the other comments. A reader doesn't have to agree with every point or accept every assertion as accurate to find real thinking value in a piece. This is not an anti-American book at all. If fuses some really startling points on how through our nation's global successes (economic and political) we have succeeded in helping the world to change and grow so quickly that our position as a sole superpower is challenged from the rise of other nations more than our own decline. If you believe competition is good, are optimistic about American ingenuity, and are not afraid of the new inter-related world, there's a great deal in this book to excite. If you're looking for the same old stale rhetoric about America and the world stage (anti or pro American), you may not like this piece. For those not afraid to think outside of the box, you'll get a lot from this book.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Sandy, UT, USA 05-20-08
    Richard Sandy, UT, USA 05-20-08 Member Since 2005
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    "A must read"

    This book covers the problems that the US will likely face as other countries rise out of centuries of poverty, but it also outlines ways to ensure a spot in the flat future. A must read for anyone that wants to rise above the fear, uncertainty, and doubt that is peddled by our 24 hour news networks and squabbling politicians.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Indianapolis, IN, USA 05-13-08
    Ron Indianapolis, IN, USA 05-13-08
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    "A new view"

    Despite the title that makes this seem like it will be a doom and gloom book, it offers a great deal of hope and guidance for the future. Zakaria focuses on China and India as some of the main player in the "Rise of the Rest". He reminds us of how Britain lost its role as super power but points out the ways it kept its influence even up to current times. He outlines a route we as a country can take as the US becomes less of the only super power but a leader and guide in a diverse world where more countries will be rising. He offers statistics to refute the fear-mongered view that we are in desperate times, and offers concrete ways we can move to insure a leadership role while keeping the best interests of other countries in mind.

    14 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Reed Boone, NC 09-12-08
    R. Reed Boone, NC 09-12-08 Member Since 2008

    Prof. Reed

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    "A view from above"

    The problem with a lot of books about globalization is that they get too mired in mind numbing statistics that profess to tell much, but actually tell very little. More often motivated by a free-trader zealotry, these authors are so focused on pushing a particular economic agenda that their arguments become suspect. Dr. Fareed Zakaria's book "The Post-American World" is a refreshing change from all that.

    Many people will be familiar with Zakaria from a variety of sources. Still it is interesting to see the brilliance he conveys when not limited to the 30 second analysis. Zakaria's advantage over others who have written in this field is that he takes a broader view. Not solely focused on China and India as the only games on the block (though much of the book is about them) he views them as two of the most important aspects of a larger phenomena he calls "The Rise of the Rest."

    The ability to contextualize globalization in truly global terms is what gives this book its fascinating and helpful slant. Additionally, Zakaria is not burdened by cold-war baggage. He is able to view the history of China and India as not mistaken blind alleys that only needed to be discarded, but as an integral part of the process that led them to the place they now are. His focus not on just history but culture as well allows him the sort of breadth that contextualizes the present in a way others cannot.

    Zakaria is likewise not interested in frightening his readers. His view is the globalization is as inevitable as it is positive. He decries the sort of jingoism and isolationism that both American political parties have engaged in and recognizes that there is simply a new game in town. Americans must now learn to play under the new rules. These new rules require multilateralism and global structures and show that no longer can we go it alone. But if America is willing it can still be the world's leader.

    17 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Courtice, Ontario, Canada 06-16-08
    James Courtice, Ontario, Canada 06-16-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Mostly Gold"

    This book provides a comprehensive and sobering perspective of the international community. The main premise, that the world has moved past an age where it once was dominated and cared for by all things American,is well supported and relevant. The first two or three chapters develop on this theme showing how other countries have their own cultures and economies which remain less penetrated than we might think by American hard and soft power.

    Later in the book there are a few chapters that are merely so-so. One chapter in particular, about the historic reasons why the West developed and other cultures did not, deals with a topic that is perhaps best left to other authors. There are also chapters devoted to the rise of China and India, which are okay, but, there is nothing special about them.

    Near the final chapter of the book comes a section about what a relative decline in power means for America. It highlights the prominent features of the process, and dismisses other facts and figures as scaremongering perspectives on the subject. This section of the book is largely the same as an article he wrote for Foriegn Affairs. It's an important read.

    Overall, the book's stregnth lies in the fact that it provides a pragmatic and comprehensive picture of the international scene without overembelishment. Although the book takes a few detours down roads that are not entirely related to the main idea, or thoroughly comprehensive, it doesn't detract from the sections of the book that are pure gold.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Colorado Springs, CO, United States 05-02-09
    Linda Colorado Springs, CO, United States 05-02-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Future is Here"

    Perhaps one of the most fascinating thing about this book is that it was written prior to the current economic meltdown. And, by the way, it's exactly on target.

    Rather than demonizing the US and what it does wrong, the book points out that for decades, we've been encouraging the rest of the world to follow our lead in building their economies and political systems. Low and behold, it's happening! There are certainly some admonitions for changes we should make at home, but this book is more about what the future holds and our place in it.

    The author engagingly reads the book with an intelligence.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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