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Publisher's Summary

The world is changing in ways most of us find incomprehensible. Terrorism spills out of the Middle East into Europe. Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, China, and Japan vie to see who can be most aggressive. Financial breakdown in Asia and Europe guts growth, challenging hard-won political stability.

Yet, for the Americans, these changes are fantastic. Alone among the world's powers, only the United States is geographically wealthy, demographically robust, and energy secure. That last piece - American energy security - is rapidly emerging as the most critical piece of the global picture.

The American shale revolution does more than sever the largest of the remaining ties that bind America's fate to the wider world. It re-industrializes the United States, accelerates the global order's breakdown, and triggers a series of wide ranging military conflicts that will shape the next two decades. The common theme? Just as the global economy tips into chaos, just as global energy becomes dangerous, just as the world really needs the Americans to be engaged, the United States will be...absent.

In 2014's The Accidental Superpower, geopolitical strategist Peter Zeihan made the case that geographic, demographic, and energy trends were unravelling the global system. Zeihan takes the story a step further in The Absent Superpower, mapping out the threats and opportunities as the world descends into disorder.

©2016 Peter Zeihan (P)2017 Peter Zeihan

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Only worthwhile if you're curious about updates

I really enjoyed The Accidental Superpower (TAS) but this sequel read like it was mostly written on airplanes between Peter's "real work". It has value but gets deep into technical aspects of shale production and repeats much of what the first book said. The remainder of much of the book is a basically fictional gameplay of world conflict between powers, something akin to an intel report. Nukes are a glaring omission in this analysis.

I am still glad I listened to it though. I've listened to this book only a couple months after it was released so it's a more up to date take on the major trends Peter outlined in his first book, taking Trump into account. He also, ever so slightly, backs off some of the more questionable assertions of his first book (do rivers really impact transit THAT much in modern times? Is US GDP really the same as post-WWII?) so it's good to see his methodology tighten a little.

There's not really a cohesive thesis in this book so it meanders and gets a bit long winded at times. If you're very interested in an update from TAS or you're interested in the technical aspects of shale production give it a listen. If not, you're probably ok to give it a pass.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Great book. Missing pdf of maps.

The first book had a pdf of maps attached. I would have really liked to see that here.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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outstanding

As a geopolitical hobbyist I've seen glimpses of the grand strategy that transcends presidencies (Bretton Woods) but Peter peels the onion away on BW in Accidental Superpower with great finesse. He then shows us how and why of the next grand strategy "Name TBD" ("Global Disorder"? "America Great Again" sic) in Absent Superpower. It seems to add great clarity to Trump's actions on NAFTA, The Iran Agreement, the Trans- Pacific Partnership, his YUGE wall & pulling out of Syria... though most would agree the latter is because of imminent threat of Russia into eastern Europe. When Lindsay Graham did a 48 hr flip supporting Trump's plan to pull out of Syria I suspected it was bcuz Trump told Graham to read Peter Z... and he did. Trump appears to be "all in" with Peter Z. Wow... someone who makes Trump make sense. From my knot hole it also clearly points to who the "Deep State" is... politicians, financiers and industry with "deep stake" in BW strategies. Great read though I learned far more than I needed to about fracking ;-)

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The narrator was okay but I still prefer Peter...

the narrator was okay but I still prefer Peter narrating his own books as his timing and manner of speaking makes it that much better.

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I wish all news was this credible

an outstanding listen and credible look into the future. in an era of alternative facts Peter Zions Outlook is anything but alternative which is utterly refreshing. some of the details with regard to fracking are a bit tedious however when looking into one's crystal ball every detail matters even more. recommended for everybody

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Geopolitical Book

This book was an interesting perspective of how shale is involved with the geopolitics of just about every part of the World. It was a journey through each country and it's predicted future will be based on the current variables and future predictions of shale energy possibilities.

There seems to be a bit too much absolutism about the world. I will not argue whether Mr. Zeihan is correct or not. I just felt like the book could have been written in a way that was a more teaching moment and allow the reader to expand the ideas themselves. It felt like a bunch of facts being thrown at me, which I enjoy. For the reason stated above I would find it hard to recommend to everyone because it takes a specific type of person to enjoy this book.

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Enlightening

Enlighten, Exciting and Unsettling. Life is always more capable of overcoming than we recognize. So perhaps we will again and without the loss of so much of it. Legacies are all that we leave.

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Superb book on future of geopolitics

I watched several of his talks on YouTube, but this book goes further in depth on what is in store. The overall depth is amazing, but heavy on numbers and spatial thinking required means don’t listen while driving in heavy traffic. I also suggest the book, so you can see all graphs.

I cannot wait for November 2019 for his next book.

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Missing part

at around 51 minutes into chapter 12 their is a part missing. Something about ENI and Italy.

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not just an update.

NOT JUST an update worth it if you liked the first book accidental super power

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  • Howard Wright
  • 05-06-18

Brilliant, insightful book

I found this to be a brilliant book which, explains the state of the world, explains the fundamental importance of oil in the world, and sets out the writer's compelling case for fundamental change in the world's order.

I had not realised that the origin of free trade was the USA's need for security post WW2. I hadn't realised the effect of shale oil on the USA's oil security. I hadn't realised that the USA could cut itself off from trade with the world without doing itself that much damage.

I strongly recommend this book for revealing the true state of the world, and the major changes which might occur in the near future. The narration is excellent too.

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  • Javier
  • 11-11-17

Way too similar to the first book.

I was excited to get into this book because I liked the first one. But it’s just too similar to the first. I honestly felt bored listen to this book because everything that would have been exciting to listen to has already been covered in the accidental superpower. Skip this book.