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The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being In Charge Isn't What It Used to Be

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  3,413 ratings  ·  360 reviews
We know that power is shifting: From West to East and North to South, from presidential palaces to public squares, from once formidable corporate behemoths to nimble startups and, slowly but surely, from men to women. But power is not merely shifting and dispersing. It is also decaying. Those in power today are more constrained in what they can do with it and more at risk ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 5th 2013 by Basic Books
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Johan Tedestål Yes that is how I found it, but I reacted to this title in his list because I had read The Global Empire by Bard & Soderqvist and wanted to know more …moreYes that is how I found it, but I reacted to this title in his list because I had read The Global Empire by Bard & Soderqvist and wanted to know more about the topic.(less)

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Start your review of The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being In Charge Isn't What It Used to Be
Feb 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Interesting thesis, but it could have been said in 30 pages rather than 300. The writing is dull and dry. The examples are broad but the research is not deep. There are too many statistics and not enough stories. The evidence cited is shallow enough that the book is not convincing and the writing repetitive enough that it is not engaging.
The Ultimate Free Market

This is a subtle argument about a not so subtle phenomenon - getting others to do what they wouldn’t otherwise.

Power may be the real Original Sin. None of us likes being subject to it, but we all use it; many of us aspire to it; and some of us create inestimable destruction with it. Children are inevitably subject to the power of their, employees to the boss, and the boss to the state. All of us at some point in our lives resent it. But very few of us forego it if we hav
Bill Pardi
May 13, 2013 rated it liked it
The End of Power by Moisés Naím has some problems, more on that later. But something fundamental bothered me about it the entire time I was reading it. After a few weeks of reflecting on it here and there I figured it out—it was the title. This book is not about the end of power at all, it's about the shifting of power. The book title was likely concocted by the publisher's marketing department. Let's face it, definitive, catastrophic statements sell better than ideas about movement or shifts. B ...more
A couple of weeks ago I saw a PBS NewsHour interview with Moisés Naím on his new book, THE END OF POWER, and I just had to read it. I did so this week. I found it to be a fascinating examination of the erosion of centralized authority in a broad pantheon of fields: government, finance, the military, education, business, religion, philanthropy, labor unions, even competitive chess. Naím draws intriguing examples from the proliferation of sovereign states and from such disparate entities as the AF ...more
Athan Tolis
Jan 15, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: business, politics
The End of Power starts like dynamite.

Moises Naim, an extremely well-respected and well-informed author (he thanks everybody who's anybody in the acknowledgments except perhaps for David Beckham) is truly on fire to begin with. He starts the book by telling you what power is. He defines it as the ability to make others do what you want them to do. It's not about the size of your army or your nuclear stockpile or your advertising budget. It's the ability to get your way.

Next, he sets up a matrix,
Jan 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The end of power by Moises Naim

This book has had me in its grip like few nonfictions have. I started this book simply because of Mark Zuckerberg’s Year of Books suggestion on Facebook. I was interested in experiencing the reading of a book at the same time that thousands others were reading it and discussing it online. That hasn't really happened. No posts have emerged from the page after the suggestion. :/

So it is gratifying that I liked the book so much. I started off disagreeing with a lot of
Jonathan Mckay
Mar 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
A dangerous simplification.

The author claims that power is diluting due to revolutions happening in the areas of More, Mobility, and Mentality. This is a grand claim and a nice alliteration, but I would expect solid evidence and a robust framework to back it up. Naim does not deliver.

More - Capital in the 21st century does a very good job of how economic inequality is growing and likely to continue. While Piketty doesn't try to forge a link between wealth and power, I feel comfortable arguing
Vinod Ravi
Dec 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book should be a (new) compulsory text for anyone studying / interested in power and politics. Systematic and comprehensive account of how power is not only shifting but inherently changing. Not all of it is necessarily his own original thought, but Naim nonetheless offers a compelling argument as to why we need to recognize that power is not only changing hands, but that that our fundamental conceptions and assumptions surrounding 'power' are in need of redefinition as well. Loved it. ...more
Maciej Nowicki
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
The End of Power by Moisés Naím talks about sources of power and explains that there is a mutation of power happening right now. The general narrative is that power is concentrating, that inequality of wealth and inequality of income has become more radical. The wealthy have more and therefore have more power, money and opportunities to buy politicians and distort public policy in ways that reinforce the trends towards inequality. However, Naím argues that power has become easier to get, harder ...more
Erhardt Graeff
Jan 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Moise Naim offers an exhaustive account of all the ways power is more diffuse and less easy to hold onto in the contemporary era. The "end of power" affects all players too: corporations, philanthropies, religions, NGOs, and of course governments. He argues this is the result of three concurrent revolutions:

1) The More Revolution: there is more of everything now, especially people who live longer and have access to more economic and technological resources, and it is "overwhelming the means of c
Feb 15, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, I admit it. I was curious about this book because Mark Zuckerberg tried to make it happen. When he announced that reading was a worthwhile pursuit after all and maybe some people should get off the internet for a bit to more deeply engage in concepts presented in book form, my interest was piqued. What book could have made Mr. Facebook try to get the whole of his social media network to read?

The result is what you might expect. It's the kind of think book high-powered business executives t
Frank Kelly
Pardon the play on words but this is a very powerful book. Naime attempts to delve into why ever major traditional source of power we have known for generations - indeed centuries -- has been rocked and knocked from their pedestals. I do not agree with a number of his conclusions but I am somewhat haunted by the book (in a good way). My view is we have entered a new Dark Ages of sorts, where materialism, fear and the collapse of faith in God has led to the implosion in faith and respect for poli ...more
Nov 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Sometimes a bit long and repetitive, and I didnt think the title appropriate until the last chapter, since I agreed with another comment that power has shifted more than disappeared. But his points are all valid and his writing fluid and enjoyable to read, if overly long. The last chapter, though, especially gave me food for thought. I have long felt the loss and the need for elected representatives whom I can trust to follow the guidelines of a philosophy spelled out in the platform of a politi ...more
Jan 04, 2015 rated it liked it
The End of Power expands the banal point that challenges to power in business, politics, religion and other realms arise more quickly, less predictably and more successfully than ever before in human history. The author attributes this shift in power dynamics to material abundance, population mobility, and rising aspirations among societies as they climb Maslow's hierarchy. From here he proposes new social, political and economic mechanisms to harness power and avoid chaos. If this logic flow se ...more
Lloyd Fassett
Jan 05, 2015 marked it as to-read
Shelves: business
1/5/14 heard about it because the general press covered the fact that Mark Zuckerberg is kicking off his 'book every two weeks book club' with it on Facebook and, well, you know, that's ironic that I would find out about it that way and it's probably ironic that you're reading this. ...more
Artur Benchimol
Sep 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Interesting and current. The problems are all over us, his framing is what makes the book.
Mar 24, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: junk
You shall not have other gods but the government, and the government should be named by someone Naim likes.
David Dinaburg
Jul 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
Ouroboros—the serpent eating its own tail—is a cross-cultural image whose genesis seems to stem from a society’s sense of repetition and inevitability; nothing ends and nothing is new. Such it is with The End of Power; not simply with its premise— “power” rarely strays from a definition circumscribed by the international language of MBA-holders and global politicians—but with its examples, citations, and style:
Take, for example, the case of the young Norwegian champion Magnus Carlsen, another c
Mal Warwick
Mar 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Mark Zuckerberg hit it out of the park with this one, the first selection in his attempt to channel Oprah Winfrey with his own “book club.” The End of Power is a remarkably insightful inquiry into the limits of power in today’s wired world, when a tiny group of fanatics can upend national policy half a world away. As Naim writes, referring not just to global leadership but to corporate executive suites, established churches, and the military, “the powerful are experiencing increasingly greater l ...more
Sean Goh
May 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
The central thesis is interesting enough, but the book is filled with a lot of interesting examples (I learnt that Spain / Portugal and other European countries have only been democracies since the 70s, for example) that don't do much to advance the ideas introduced in the first chapter. They end up becoming superficial hopping from topic to topic (especially obvious in the chapter on religion on 3 other things). Save your time, read a summary.
Power is defined as the ability to direct or
Shannon Clark
Jan 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: a-year-of-books
Thought provoking and a good thing to have read - however I do think some of his conclusions are weakened by context (i.e. he's focused only on certain aspects of power and certain networks). Not sure I fully agree he has proven his thesis - though the basic message that "power" today isn't the same as power was in the past is fairly true - if also not as notable as he seems to think it is.

I don't mean to be harsh - I learned a great deal and enjoyed reading this book for the thought provoking
Jan 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
I really want the authors thesis to be true.
But he really does not support his conclusion with what is presented in this book. His citations more often than not do not actually support the point he is making and using those work for support. The writing is also inconsistent and claims made at the start of the book are not carried through the book. At first he claims Facebook / Twitter had little or no real influence on social changes and yet later he claims those social media are all powerful.
Aug 18, 2017 rated it did not like it
Finally, here's a book that's annoying enough for me to actually spend time explaining the 1 star rating I've given it. If I had a "forced to skim because I feel guilty about not finishing a book I bought" shelf, this book would be the prime exhibit.
Naìm tries to argue that power itself is decaying, not merely shifting or being redistributed among more numerous and more mobile actors who've undergone a radical shift in mentality. However his insistence on this point is what makes it both absolu
Craig Newmark
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(Speaking for myself only, not the site I founded which is generously cited in this book)

Power is flowing to regular people, people who've never had much of a voice, largely facilitated by the Internet.)

The End of Power discusses the categories of power and influence, and how the nature of power is decentralizing at an evolutionary pace. (Not so bad, since modern revolutions get people killed, and often the new boss is as bad as the old boss, or worse.)

Maybe End of Power will inspire more people
Ericka Clou
Considering this was written in 2013, it was practically prescient regarding the dissipation of power in politics. So many sentences read as if the writer knew about Trump's takeover of the Republican party or even Brexit. I wonder how far this trend will go. ...more
Justin Williams
Jan 07, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
This would have been an interesting essay. Instead it was a dry, repetitive 300 page thesis.
Ramon Leon
It is not clear to me that he is very persuasive in that power is dissipating for everybody.
Dec 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
If you enjoy playing monopoly or aspire to reign the entire galaxy, this book is for you. According to Moises Naim, all you need to do is adapt to the decay of power in the world today. It should be noted that Moises Naim possesses an incredible resume. He has exercised power through different means as the Minister of Trade and Industry in Venezuela, as the executive director of the World Bank, as the editor in chief of Foreign Policy magazine and as an academic in multiple think tanks and the C ...more
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
An interesting analysis, but left much to be desired from the writing. The copy is often academic and dry and I frequently found my thoughts drifting elsewhere while reading.
Maksym Markov
May 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Nice analysis of modern trends in power distribution. I wish it would be a little bit shorter.
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Merge translation into original edition 1 1 Feb 09, 2018 06:46AM  

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Moisés Naím is an internationally-syndicated columnist and best-selling author of influential books. In 2011, he launched Efecto Naím, an innovative weekly television program highlighting surprising world trends with visually-striking videos, graphics and interviews with world leaders which is widely watched in Latin America today. Dr. Naím gained international recognition with the successful re-l ...more

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