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The Post-American World

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  12,405 ratings  ·  1,155 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
Hardcover, 292 pages
Published April 17th 2008 by W. W. Norton Company (first published January 1st 2008)
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Jul 24, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction, politics
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
Eamonn Gormley
Sep 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 23, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Jun 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Christine Nolfi
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Zakaria's observations on geopolitics are germane and insightful. Highly recommended. ...more

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
Rob Haas
May 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy, politics
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
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
Sep 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.

Oct 04, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Kathryn Bashaar
Aug 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. The title makes it sound like it's going to be depressing, but it is actually very hopeful about America's future role in the world. Zakaria is one of the most sensible voices around in my opinion (and, could he BE any handsomer!? Woo!) He talks about how we are going to have to get past the ugly partisanship of the past 30 years or so, get our economic house in order and take a more multilateral approach in foreign relations. Admittedly, those are hard things, but not impossi ...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
Apr 25, 2009 rated it did not like it
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
Nov 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Alex Telander
Jun 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
THE POST-AMERICAN WORLD BY FAREED ZAKARIA: Fareed Zakaria, author of The Future of Freedom, and editor for Newsweek International, offers up a sobering yet fascinating look at the possible future of the United States and its stake as the global superpower in the first half of the twenty-first century. The Post-American World is part business, part political, part historical, and part sociological; as Zakaria analyses how the United States has arrived at the state it is in internationally, and wh ...more
Mar 28, 2013 rated it liked it
After years of political, economic and cultural dominance of the US, other nations are emerging in what Zakaria calls "the rise of the rest". It is not, he says that the US is declining; it is that the others are growing. While he talks of several measures of a country (culture, rule of law, institutions) the yardstick he clearly favors is its ability to consume.

Zakaria speaks of British power at Queen Victoria's 60th Jubilee and how less than 20 years later Europe had a whole new landscape. He
Dec 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Ahmed Abdelhamid
May 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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 as to how America can still change it's outlook take the role of a moderator in international politics and, instead of pr ...more
Mar 29, 2009 rated it did not like it
I learned more about world politics and about how countries like Brazil and India are going to be new world super powers in the near future and how much that is going to change the world.
I didn't like the way Zakaria came from an obviously privileged point of view. He praised colonialism,the industrial revolution, imperialism, globalization,and classism, all of which continue to hurt the majority of the worlds population while making an elite/privileged few filthy rich. He also neglected to add
Sep 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I get the sneaking suspicion a lot of people won't understand the general thesis of this book. People might glean from the title that, in the near future, America won't exist. This is obviously nonsense.

The thesis of the book is that, in the post-American world, the rest of the nations throughout the globe will be ABLE to get along without us. Trade, development, military operations, and political operations, previously required American intervention, now these things can skirt our borders, or W
May 30, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: لم-انهيه
I still not finch but it is a really good book.
mars 2018
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: overdrive
Thought I'd like this more than I did. It's not at all about the's about American globalization and how the USA can succeed in the changing world economy. This book came out early in 2008 so it must have been written in 2007; it's dated. The book reads like a series of thoughts, not necessarily stuck together. In the end, he doesn't say much...just blather. I did not toss it--read it to the end. But, should have given up after just a few chapters. Glad it came from the library and I d ...more
I knew, coming in, what I expected from Fareed Zakaria. I follow his GPS series on CNN and read his columns as and when they get published. I wasn't disappointed. This book doesn't really offer one anything one doesn't know if one's been following the news well. This book doesn't contain any groundbreaking research. Rather, Zakaria compiles data, news and analysis into a coherent whole, giving it perspective from both a social and a historical setting.

He certainly voices thoughts I tend to agree
Apr 04, 2009 rated it it was ok
I gave it two stars because I thought Zakaria's book to be so pro-globalization that it lacked real credibility. Often, his pom-pom waving for a political economy which has created the financial disaster we're living through today puts me in mind of Dinesh D'Souza's essay:
"Two Cheers for Colonialism." I'm put in mind of Lenin's term: the comprador bourgeoisie. In some ways that's unfair to say. In some ways, it's dead on accurate.

It's understandable why he supports globalization--it has been b
Jul 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2008
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
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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.” 54 likes
“...foreign policy is a matter of costs and benefits, not theology.” 39 likes
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