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The Post-American World

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  7,737 ratings  ·  895 reviews
"This is not a book about the decline of America, but rather about the rise of everyone else." So begins Fareed Zakaria's important new work on the era we are now entering. Following on the success of his best-selling The Future of Freedom, Zakaria describes with equal prescience a world in which the United States will no longer dominate the global economy, orchestrate geo ...more
Hardcover, 292 pages
Published April 17th 2008 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published January 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dale
I'll say at the outset that I like Fareed Zakaria. He's articulate, reasonable, moderate, and optimistic. And he is the successor to George Kennan and Zbigniew Brzezinski in the role of theorist for US corporate imperialism. I will not be surprised if he gets an appointment in the upcoming Obama administration as, for example, Assistant Deputy Director of strategic Analysis for the State Department.

Zakaria takes it as an obvious given that the era of US hegemony is drawing to a close. The US wil
...more
Eamonn Gormley
This is the kind of work that makes a body wish President Bush would read books. The author's point is that diplomacy is America's strength, and it should be used first with force held as a last resort, especially in a world where the US is not the only superpower anymore due to the growing influence of countries in the developing world.

'The Rise of the Rest' is what Mr Zakaria uses to refer to the economic and political growth in developing countries, principally (but not limited to) India and
...more
Sally
I finished this last night and I must say that although it starts off strong I grew very weary. Zakaria could have accomplished the same purpose with a feature in a magazine, in 2000 words. I'm glad I read it, I'm working on broadening my perspective, and there is much about the international finance world I never even began to imagine. It never hurts to be told something more than once - just around time eight or ten I grow weary. Good stuff, though. Time not wasted.

1/30: So far I'm moving thr
...more
Regina
This book as been on my reading list for a long time but it was moved to the top a few weeks ago when a distant relation of mine sent one of those hate/chain emails with a picture of President Obama holding a copy of the book. The message read:

"THIS WILL CURDLE YOUR BLOOD AND CURL YOUR HAIR! The name of the book that Obama is reading called: The Post American World, and it was written by a fellow Muslim. "Post" America means the World After America! Please forward this picture to everyone you k
...more
Matthew
Jun 17, 2008 Matthew rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those who detest fear
Fareed Zakaria's new book, "The Post-American World," shines a bright light on the hand-wringing and defeatist lies about the state of America that are used by neo-conservatives and anti-globalist leftists to support their radical positions by infusing Americans with fear. Indeed, Mr. Zakaria decisively shows that America is the sole ideological superpower in a world that has wholesale adopted our culture and economic values. We are now witnessing a global transformation that is the result of th ...more
Raghu
This is an important and optimistic book about America and its future. While it is fashionable now to predict gloom about America's future as an economic and political power and over emphasise the rise of China and other powers, Zakaria brings a balance thru his analysis and says that there is no need to push the panic button. On the contrary, he shows the many positives about America as well as the world today. For example, in spite of the terrorism and violence, he shows that the past 20 years ...more
Andrew
Fareed Zakaria is clearly an effective communicator. I saw him speak at my college as a lad of 18 or 19, and he was just as compelling then as in the Post-American World. He presents an obvious idea-- that American hegemony is being/has been displaced by a more global, multipolar power structure-- and presents it as an effective journalist.

And he is as unsophisticated a political thinker as he is a great writer. For a scholar who claims to cast aside the old weaponry of ideology and theory, he s
...more
Rob Haas
This book is probably the most timely book on world economics and political dynamics that you can find. It updates a lot of old statistics and misconceptions all while leaving a really nice taste in your mouth for whats to come. I would recommend this book to everyone who wants to know what's behind the goings-on in the world. Despite the title Zakaria continues to remind the reader that America still plays a vital role in the world and where the United States is able to have the largest impact. ...more
Tim Weakley
I am always a little hesitant to read books about current political events because they are so easily partisan. I think the author has avoided this trap for the most part with The Post American World. He delivers a broad look at what is happening outside of the western sphere of influance that makes me want to learn more, specifically about China and India and the political climate of today. I don't think this is an anti-American work. I think it's done with an attitude of enlightenment for the ...more
Dylan
He defends the book's basic thesis really well, which isn't hard to do. He does a great job with his discussion of history's many narratives, and the placing of America's current situation in historical context. My problem with the book is how drastically Zakaria overvalues GDP and productivity as the value of a country. He never seems to question the construct of world powers, and tends to value countries too much on their global power and too little on how their citizenship is faring. As Jonat ...more
Channon
Thought I'd like this more than I did. Have to admit that it is not my favorite book. I'm no cheerleader for globalization or US market capitalism but I am even less a fan of attempting to manipulate the world into a homogeneous global market with "western" values which I felt a strong undercurrent of throughout the book -- particularly the first half.

Zakaria asserts that Western economics, religion and culture have been dominant forces for over half a millennium. He argues that while the West
...more
Honor
Nov 27, 2008 Honor rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those interested in economics, politics, history, sociology, etc., academics & infohounds.
First, as a good faith disclaimer, let me say that I tend to love this kind of book. Any book that provides a cup running over with information and data is sure to win my heart early on, and as editor of international editions of Newsweek, Mr. Fareed Zakaria certainly has access to the kind of fact-feed and data sources that make me go all warm and mushy inside... And he shares nicely. :-)

Second, for those who's sense of patriotism might be goosed by the title, let me offer the explanatory quote
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Dorothy
This book came out early in 2008 so it must have been written in 2007. Zakaria doesn't seem to have foreseen the current worldwide economic crisis, but then, of course, a lot of people didn't. As a result, some of the early parts of the book where he refers to the booming economy seem a little dated and out of touch, but overall his thesis stands and is well-argued in spite of these minor quibbles.

He believes that the United States has misplayed its hand in world politics over the last several y
...more
Ahmed Abdelhamid
Much of the plot in the book is dedicated for China (1Chapter) and India(1Chapter), ignoring the "rest" (Brazil, Japan, ... a sample was enough okay.) or the rest coalition (no discussion for potential coalition, just a notion at the end to avoid this situation).

Reading about the "Post American World" I could have expected more about what is "next" but the book mostly plots the projections of the past... with trails to what is happening now possibly in the "rest" i.e. China and India mainly... w
...more
Tripp
Fareed Zakaria's new book, the Post-American World is a book I hope both presidential candidates read. It is a brief book that tells Americans we need to re-think our view of the world. We need to jettison the idea of the world's policeman and hyperpower and replace it with the world's trusted third party. In this his says we need to be less Britain than Bismarck, which I rather like. We need to de-emphasize military power and re-consider economic competitiveness. We need to spend less time worr ...more
matt
Hmmm.

and grrr.

and meh.

I have a lot to say about this book but I don't have the time at the moment...

Here's The New Republic, pretty much saying what I have to say about the book, if not the other works I've read (columns, interviews, etc):

"Fareed Zakaria is enormously important to an understanding of many things, because he provides a one-stop example of conventional thinking about them all. He is a barometer in a good suit, a creature of establishment consensus, an exemplary spokesman for the
...more
Jafar
The books starts off with a quote from the historian Arnold Toynbee about how there are no intrinsic reasons why a civilization (read an empire) should not go on forever, in spite of all the previous ones having failed or faded. It immediately reminded me of a similar line about how aging is not one of the laws of physics and the possibility of curing it.

Zakaria is an editor for Newsweek International, and this book reads like a series of Newsweek articles. Sticking to the style of a “mainstrea
...more
Marwa
“موقعك على الخريطة يؤثر على رؤيتك للعالم"

وبالرغم من كوننا في الشرق الأوسط وفي مصر على وجه التحديد،يعني في وسط العالم تقريبا، فكان لابد وأن تكون رؤيتنا للعالم أكثر اتساعا وتوازنا مما هي عليه الآن. وهذا كتاب أدعي أنه مثير للاهتمام بما يطرحه من حقائق وآراء، ومعين على توسعة الرؤية الحالية والمستقبلية.

فريد زكريا من أشهر الصحفيين في الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية، من أصل هندي، ومسلم. جاء الى أمريكا في شبابه وحصل على الجنسية الأمريكية. يكتب في أشهر وسائل الاعلام الغربية منها النيوزويك، والواشنطن بوست، والت
...more
Satyaki Mitra
A succinctly written book that clearly reflects the current state of international politics & diplomacy. Zakaria dissects the various economic, political and ancillary forces at play, that are leading to the rise of other emerging nations(China,India,Brazil & Africa), while America is still obsessed with it own unilateral view of the world. Zakaria provides convincing reasons of how America can still change it's outlook take the role of a moderator in international politics and, instead ...more
Laura
I loved this book! It helps that I read Zakaria's columns in Newsweek all the time and really like his global outlook and the openness and collaboration amongst nations that he promotes. It was also an interesting read - not boring or stuffy like what we had to read in college. I studied both India and China briefly in college, taking poli sci, history, and globalization courses but it was nice to get a 5 year update :)

Whether you'd like to brush up on the current state of world affairs - in pa
...more
Jorge Bazan
Simply a good insight of the upcoming international system ahead of us, i recommend it to anyone interested in knowing why the USA should not fear the rise of countries like Russia, China and India today.
Aiham Taleb
While the writer shows his opinion in an Islamic review of the future, he shows these ideas in an attractive way..
useful and valuable book..
عمر
This is very interesting book about the new world in which US may stay the superpower with multipowers around such us China and India, the book detailed the rise and fall of Britain and presented a nice analyze of chalenges for US, China and India.
below are the most interesting parts which I liked on this book:

- Page 55:during the Asian financial crisis the United States and other Western countries demanded that the Asians take three steps—let bad banks fail, keep spending under control, and kee
...more
Debbie
A brief intro to the author, in case,like me, you're unfamiliar with him:
After directing a research project on American foreign policy at Harvard, Zakaria became managing editor of Foreign Affairs magazine. In October 2000, he was named editor of Newsweek International,and writes a weekly foreign affairs column in it.

Zakaria has been described variously as a political liberal,a conservative,or a moderate.This is because he supported President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, but moved left during the
...more
Jean
I try to watch Fareed Zakaria's Sunday morning talk show "GPS: Global Public Square" as often as I can. I like his thoughtful and nonpartisan take on the issues that affect our world today. He was born in India and moved to the US at 18 to attend college, which has given him a bit of a different perspective on American power/position in the world. That being said, the book is in no way an incrimination of American culture or ideals, but rather a critical examination of the current geo-political ...more
Tami
I love learning about our country as well as others and how we all can learn from one another. So many parts of this book were just way over my head but for those of you who understand economics, politics and global strategies, this is the book for you. I would need to read it over and over to understand it fully.
I must say that I was fascinated about the section on Chinese culture and how long before Christopher Columbus the Chinese had the biggest, fastest Naval fleet around, then BAM, it was
...more
Ari
Superior food for thought laid out in a concise manner. "The task for today is to construct a new approach for a new era, one that responds to a global system in which power is far more diffuse than ever before and in which everyone feels empowered." (pg. 231) EVERYONE FEELS EMPOWERED. To me that is key. Reading about the hypocriscy and arrogance of American diplomats made my blood boil. But it's not all bad, there is hope and I think (although I'm biased) with President Obama's focus on soft po ...more
Daniel Solera
In recent days, we have seen the Obama administation reach out to many countries in hopes of developing positive foreign relations. Some of these acts have been met with little resistance, others, such as Cuba, Venezuela and perhaps even Turkey, have been called questionable at best, and even "insane" by some conservative critics.

However, Fareed Zakaria's book suggests that this is exactly what we should be doing. "The Post American World", as the author notes, is not about the downfall of Ameri
...more
Book
The Post-American World: Release 2.0 by Fareed Zakaria

"The Post-American World" is the insightful book about world affairs and America's role. The author makes compelling arguments that it is the "rise of the rest" and not America's decline at the heart of this global era. This 336-page book is composed of the following seven chapters: 1. The Rise of the Rest, 2. The Cup Runneth Over, 3. A Non-Western World? 4. The Challenger, 5. The Ally, 6. American Power and 7. American Purpose.

Positives:
1.
...more
Marci
Anyway, I was going to type up my favorite paragraphs from this book, but there were WAY too many. This was a great book to follow up The Ascent of Money in fact, he even quotes Niall Ferguson a few times.

Being a rather uninformed person of the world, I was able to learn all kinds of new things that have happened.

He has an interesting style of painting a picture one way then turning it upside down on his head. For example, he begins talking about all of the wonderful things China has been doing
...more
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Fareed Zakaria was named editor of Newsweek International in October 2000, overseeing all Newsweek's editions abroad. The magazine reaches an audience of 24 million worldwide. He writes a regular column for Newsweek, which also appears in Newsweek International and fortnightly in the Washington Post. He also hosts an international affairs program, Fareed Zakaria GPS, which airs Sundays worldwide o ...more
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“We have not noticed how fast the rest has risen. Most of the industrialized world--and a good part of the nonindustrialized world as well--has better cell phone service than the United States. Broadband is faster and cheaper across the industrial world, from Canada to France to Japan, and the United States now stands sixteenth in the world in broadband penetration per capita. Americans are constantly told by their politicians that the only thing we have to learn from other countries' health care systems is to be thankful for ours. Most Americans ignore the fact that a third of the country's public schools are totally dysfunctional (because their children go to the other two-thirds). The American litigation system is now routinely referred to as a huge cost to doing business, but no one dares propose any reform of it. Our mortgage deduction for housing costs a staggering $80 billion a year, and we are told it is crucial to support home ownership, except that Margaret Thatcher eliminated it in Britain, and yet that country has the same rate of home ownership as the United States. We rarely look around and notice other options and alternatives, convinced that "we're number one.” 33 likes
“...foreign policy is a matter of costs and benefits, not theology.” 20 likes
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