The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century
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The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  3,369 ratings  ·  515 reviews
"In his long-awaited and provocative new book, George Friedman turns his eye on the future - offering a lucid, highly readable forecast of the changes we can expect around the world during the twenty-first century. He explains where and why future wars will erupt (and how they will be fought), which nations will gain and lose economic and political power, and how new techn...more
Audio CD, 8 pages
Published January 1st 2009 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published 2008)
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Michael Herrman
I was suspicious of Friedman’s argument for being able to foresee the future because it essentially boiled down to “highly competent people have very few options to choose from”. That is to say that the more competent they are, the narrower their potential band of action and the easier to guess at what they’ll do.

To make his point, he invoked chess on the grandmaster level: a world-class player has few winning moves open to him, but many losing ones, and his logic is that the grandmaster will se...more
Heidi
I chose to read this book because someone asked people's opinion on an email list. I couldn't buy into it enough to finish it.

First, we are asked to accept geopolitical analysis, then we are asked to accept that George Friedman's analysis using geopolitics is accurate, and that his angle is the only one that counts.

Well I don't buy it. Most of the time he picks and chooses what specific world events to highlight to 'prove' his geopolitical forecast. I kept thinking of other events he ignored. I...more
Dan Solomon
I made it through the first seven chapters in, like, four enthusiastic hours. He talks some convincing shit about history and what we can extrapolate from history in order to better understand what the future might hold. It's insightful and readable and very smart.

The next three chapters took about a week, and I found myself constantly checking my iPhone while I was reading it. I couldn't figure out why, and then I realized that the guy was probably just making shit up.

The reason the first sev...more
Mohamed Al Marzooqi
يعترف جورج فريدمان بكل صراحة في مقدمة الكتاب بأنه لا يمتلك بلورة سحرية يستطيع من خلالها التنبؤ بأحداث المستقبل، ولكن ما يقوم به -بكل بساطة- هو الإعتماد على التاريخ للتنبؤ بالمستقبل، وهو يقوم بذلك بطريقة إحترافية ومقنعة معتمدًا على خبرته الطويلة في تدريس النظريات السياسية وفي تقديم الاستشارات للقوات المسلّحة الأميركية حول مسائل الأمن القومي.

يرصد فريدمان في كتابه هذا أهم التغيرات التى ستطرأ على العالم في القرن الحادى والعشرين من نزاعات جيوسياسية وتكنولوجية وديموجرافية وعسكرية، كما يسرد بالتفصيل أه...more
David
Hmmm...this is a difficult book to write about for a number of reasons. Let's take a Proustian moment and beat it to death with words.

The most difficult is the complexity of dealing with any topic beyond the window of 5 years. This is the problem with futurism in general. Predicting one year out is difficult but beyond 5 years you are descending into fantasy...a brief review of the futurist texts over the past 40 yrs. proves this point. Though these get a few things right most of what they have...more
Mike
More like a long New Yorker article than an actual book - by which I mean it's at points breezy, totally accessible, and engaging - the book by Friedman is something of a wonder. As a lover of Sci-Fi and Speculative Fiction I thought I'd find out what someone who gets paid for a living to think about the future thought would happen in the next 100 years. Keep in mind Friedman's entire focus is geo-political but in order to make that work he does have some interesting insights into the future of...more
Stig
An exciting book that almost reads like an alternate world science fiction novel. Friedman's main argument is that the United States will remain the most powerful nation in the world also in the 21st century. Current rivals like Russia and China will be swept away, and quite soon too, only to be replaced by new challengers such as Japan, Turkey and (later) Mexico.

So, how likely is this? Friedman admits that he will get details wrong, but believes that the overall direction of 21st century histor...more
Joseph
Spoilers and whatnot below








A good history to start with and Friedman very much sticks to the belief that history will repeat itself with Poland as the new Germany in Europe trapped between Germany and Russia, two historic enemies. The US will treat it as it did West Germany. Turkey will rise as a Muslim power in the world. Poland is a bit of a stretch I feel. I would not have made Turkey a first choice, but Friedman backs up his argument pretty well, although he tends to forget that Turkey is ve...more
Ryan Holiday
Books aimed at predicting the future are always dangerous and often reek of charlatanism. Books on politics and war are regularly partisan and emotional. It's impressive that The Next 100 years, a book that attempts to predict the future of both international politics and war in the coming century falls prey to none of those traps. Friedman is calm, dispassionate and articulate at each turn.

His predictions are surprising in that they contradict almost everything the average person would trend ou...more
Nick
This book started out great and then became completely tedious and absurd.
Friedman did a great job of laying out his vision for the next 30 years or so. He describes the economic, political, social and demographic forces that are shaping the world. That part was well worth reading and seemed fairly plausible.
The second half of the book reads like someone explaining "an awesome game of Risk" they played in excruciating detail. The circumstances leading up to this World War Three are also absurd,...more
Janusz Dragunow
My short review is - do not buy this book. This is one of the worst books which I read recently. It is not worth any penny. Instead, I recommend to read "race against machine", writen by MIT' tutors. Until I saw a map of Europe divided on regions, I was expecting something at least with average quality. No one who puts Denmark, Italy and Germany in one "Central European" basket deserves for higher grade than 2/5. Spain and United Kingdom as one group of countries? Come on. This kind of books you...more
Diane
This book is based on an intriguing idea, that it is possible to predict the future based on geopolitical interests. The author explains changes in 20-year cycles in the past, and then proceeds to predict the next century. The book's greatest virtue is that it looks critically at a number of commonly-held beliefs about the future (particularly in regard to China's future power). The author does a good job of explaining why events generally do not always continue along a smooth path, and hence wh...more
Ellis
This book bases projections on so many layers of assumptions that all depend on each other being true that it's discussion of power and national relationships are probably as likely to come to pass as me lassoing the Easter Bunny and eating him/her for Easter dinner. Aside from the silliness of the arguments in this book, any new occurrence can completely destroy all of Friedman's projections. For example, how will the recent discovery of vast mineral resources in Afghanistan affect its future s...more
Ed
This book forms a useful balance to Martin Jacques book When China Rules the World. The best way to approach the future is via the Peter Schwartz (The Art of the Long View) strategy of developing 3-4 alternative scenarios about the future in order to 'learn from the future' about the present: both what it tells you about future trends and how to influence them. Jacques and Friedman provide two such scenarios, though I would like someone to add a scenario around environmental issues that neither...more
Noah
Friedman makes some solid, if well-worn, points about the driving forces behind political and military power. Among other things, he makes a good case for why naval power and passable terrain are still so important in the digital age. I probably would have a favorable review of this book if it were just his predictions for 2009-2025, but after that is where he really loses it. Before you know it, he's raving like a madman about Battle Star satellites in geosynchronous orbit and secret Japanese l...more
Alain Burrese
I found “The Next 100 Years: A Forecast For The 21st Century” by George Friedman to be a very interesting read. I have no idea how accurate Friedman's forecasting and predictions will be, but I still found what he wrote about to be extremely interesting and thought provoking.

The forecasting is backed up by historical events and how people and countries react to various circumstances. While it might not turn out to be accurate, it is certainly plausible. The core of the 21st Century, according t...more
Gladstone
A expectativa do autor com o livro é fornecer princípios gerais para fazer previsões de longo prazo (afinal, aqui estamos falando em um horizonte de até 100 anos!) – isto é, princípios válidos não apenas para questões (geo)políticas. Embora sempre apresentados no contexto daquelas questões, tais princípios deveriam ser, a princípio, transferíveis para outros contextos em que uma previsão de longo prazo é também relevante. Em nenhum momento, porém, o autor deixa claro de que modo tal transferênci...more
Khalid
George Friedman is the chief intelligence officer and founder of Strategic Forecasting, Inc. (Stratfor), a private intelligence agency whose clients include foreign government agencies and Fortune 500 companies. Friedman offers a global tour of war and peace in the upcoming century. Friedman opens by taking the reader through the twentieth century at twenty-year intervals, showing how the concerns in any given time period are quickly forgotten and replaced by new concerns. This prepares the read...more
Ryan
Though this book has taken much flak from readers (and will no doubt get a lot wrong as the decades roll forward), I thought the first half was smartly argued. Friedman attempts to forecast the next century through his "history as a chess game" theory, which postulates that in global politics, as in chess, there may seem to be a limitless number of potential moves, but, in actuality, only a few are feasible at a given time. Thus, leaders are heavily constrained in their options by geopolitical t...more
Book
The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century by George Friedman

"The Next 100 Years" is an interesting look at what the twenty-first century will look and feel like based on geopolitics. It's a book that speculates the future by using history, trends and by applying the decline and fall of Europe as the centerpiece and its replacement the United States as its model. The author focuses on who would resist and how the United States would respond to their resistance as the driving forces behi...more
Lauren
At a certain level, when it comes to the future, the only thing one can be sure of is that common sense will be wrong. - George Friedman

PURPOSE OF THE BOOK
Author George Friedman states, "underneath the disorder of history, my task is to try to see the order-and to anticipate what events, trends, and technology that order will bring forth." He states his primary goal as transmitting a sense of the new century by identifying "the major tendencies - geopolitical, technological, demographic, cultur...more
أشرف فقيه
بغض النظر عن دقة تصوراته للمستقبل، إلا أن هذا الكتاب مهم جداً في شرحه للقواعد العامة التي تفسر التاريخ وتلك التي تحكم صعود الدول وسقوطها.. من ذلك:
1- إن الجغرافيا التاريخية هي أهم عناصر القوة الدولية
2- من يسيطر على البحار يسيطر على طرق التجارة ويسيطر على العالم
3- فترة 20 سنة أكثر من كافية لحدوث تغييرات جذرية في موازين القوى العالمية
4- الصراع على الطاقة سيستمر لكن ليس في صورة نفط بل ستلعب الكهرباء والطاقة الشمسية أدواراً محورية وسيكون للقوى المسيطرة على الفضاء بالذات قصب السبق في ذلك

النصف الأول من...more
Owen
If this guy gets one more thing right he will vault into the 5 star range. I'm sure he's at home now, holding his breath.

This is the single most well-thought out book about the future I've ever read. It came highly recommended and delivered across the board. It's also the most optimistic futuristic book, particularly from an American perspective. the basic premise that America is only prepping for a second rise is fascinating. He is also entirely in the minority (I blame cable news, personally)....more
Vicki
This was an interesting book in which the author attempts to predict what will happen in the world over the next 100 years. I wish I could give it 3.5 stars instead of 3.0 or 4.0, as I really was somewhere in between those ratings on this one.

Some of the predictions left me bummed out, particularly the one that space will inevitably be militarized. The author argues that the control of space will be just as crucial to being on top of the hierarchy as controlling the seas is now. It does make so...more
Sarah
What an absolutely fascinating read. Well written and thought provoking it is a very engaging book. The way Friedman writes this book its almost as if he is simply talking to his reader. I really enjoyed this style of writing because it made it much easier to follow and understand. But as with all things that try to predict the future it must be read with a grain of salt. Having absolutely no background with regards to geopolitics this book was remarkably easy to understand. I defiantly learned...more
Olgalijo
Even though I found this book well founded in history analysis and with solid deduction processes I can't help but to feel dissapointed. The American centrism of the author's logic reminds me of those U.S. people who have never been out of the country, and can't conceive that anything important is going on out there.
Friedman asumes that he can compare in the same terms cultures with six thousand years of history to cultures a couple of hundred years old.
Also, the absolute belief of the author in...more
Josh
I received this book as a birthday present. I wasn't inclined to read it since foreign policy 'big think' books like this aren't really my cup of tea, but the fact that I wasn't reading anything at the time and was snowed in by the great blizzard of 2010 lead me to give it a try. It was actually better than I thought.

The basic premise is that the author, George Friedman, predicts the major world events that will take place in the 21st century. Friedman is of the folly of trying to predict the f...more
Kathryn Bashaar
This book was an entertaining read and a lot of it seemed to make sense. What I didn't like was the cynical, amoral tone, the premise that, look, nation states will do what they do for self-interest and one is not necessarily better than the other. I vehemently disagree. The U.S. is not perfect and not always moral, but we have certain values that we stand for in our foreign policy and our national life in general, and it DOES matter who dominates the world. Ask yourself this: when the Russians...more
Tom Schulte
This is a quick and fun read, although I approached its promise of prophecy with trepidation. I recall how far off the mark was the prediction of H.G. Wells in The Outline of History, Vols. I and II that WWI was so terrible it would prevent later global wars. However, this 2009 work seems prescient on many points now coming to pass: drones in wars, Russia grabbing at Ukraine, and even Turkey beginning to assert itself as an Islamic imperialist hegemon. (Might the Haghia Sophia return to being a...more
Candace
A fascinating peek into possible future events. The first chapter asks you to imagine yourself living at the beginning of each 20-year increment during the 20th century. Events that were considered highly unlikely at 1900 actually occurred in 1920, and so on. This is the way to view this book. The author repeatedly states that he does not *know* what's going to happen, that in fact it's impossible to *know,* but that he's making educated guesses for coming events. He explains his methods and ask...more
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183160
Dr. Friedman is the Chief Executive Officer and founder of STRATFOR. Since 1996 Dr. Friedman has driven the strategic vision guiding STRATFOR to global prominence in private geopolitical intelligence and forecasting.

Dr. Friedman is the author of The New York Times bestseller “The Next Decade: Where We’ve Been…and Where We’re Going,” which forecasts the major events and challenges that will test Am...more
More about George Friedman...
The Next Decade: What the World Will Look Like America's Secret War: Inside the Hidden Worldwide Struggle Between the United States and Its Enemies The Future of War: Power, Technology and American World Dominance in the Twenty-first Century The Coming War With Japan The Intelligence Edge: How to Profit in the Information Age

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“Anger does not make history. Power does. And power may be supplemented by anger, but it derives from more fundamental realities; geography, demographics, technology, and culture.” 5 likes
“The computer focuses ruthlessly on things that can be represented in numbers. In so doing, it seduces people into thinking that other aspects of knowledge are either unreal or unimportant. The computer treats reason as an instrument for achieving things, not for contemplating things. It narrows dramatically what we know and intended by reason.” 3 likes
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