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Disunited Nations: Succeeding in a World Where No One Gets Along

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  1,064 ratings  ·  151 reviews
ebook, 256 pages
Published November 19th 2019 by HarperBusiness
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David Wineberg
Nov 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Disunited Nations is a remarkable attempt summarize every major nation’s future, determined by its location, geography, its past and present. Peter Zeihan of Strafor has laid it all out in a straightforward and shocking manner. It is scathing, brutal, honest, and to at least some extent, correct.

Underlying everything in Disunited Nations is the Order. The Order is what the United States imposed following World War II. It was meant to ally everyone against the Soviets, but it imposes peaceful tra
...more
Andrej Karpathy
May 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Peter Zeihan presents a biased, incomplete and seemingly just slightly rushed geopolitical analysis of the past present and future world (dis)order, which despite its flaws makes for an informative, interesting and entertaining (due to his writing style) read. In particular, in stark contrast to popular narratives over the last decade or so, Peter argues strongly for an imminent collapse and fracturing of China.

The core thesis is that the last ~60 years of rising global prosperity and peace (rel
...more
Richard Thompson
Apr 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: politics, geography
Zeihan is amazingly irritating. He writes in a snappy, colloquial style that is proudly politically incorrect, but is also heartless and in the end of the day clueless. He is arrogant, narcissistic and America centric. He gives the rest of world good reason to hate Americans. Zeihan's picture of the world consists of pawns moving around on a Westphalian chessboard. He would have been a great advisor to Metternich. His view of history is simplistic and deterministic. Everything important is drive ...more
Daniel
May 05, 2020 rated it it was ok
This is a strange book written on a serious topic but in a colloquial/frivolous manner. According to Zeihan:

1. The current global order was built and is maintained by America. It gives free protection to sea lanes and air travel to the world so that countries can trade with each other and get rich. Not so America; she trades mainly within herself, and maybe a bit with Mexico and Canada. America does not need the world and is about to turn inward, giving up the world police job. And the world is
...more
Mattias
Apr 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Simplistic: drives most of his arguments from the realm of geography and resource distribution across the planet.

Teleological: att times seems to pick data which fits his conclusions.

Yet fascinating: well written, easy to read and written in a compelling fashion.

If one ignores the absolute certainty of his bombastic conclusions/predictions and sees them more as an indication of one possible path forward into the future, the book is interesting.

Kind of like the geopolitical version of Yuval Noah
...more
Matt Goldstein
Mar 08, 2020 rated it did not like it
Obviously rushed and lacks citations for massive numbers of claims. It's not worth a reader's time or money. It's not even educated guessing. It's unsubstantiated unprofessional guessing. ...more
Alex Zakharov
May 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve been softly following Zeihan for a couple of years, but it was Arnold Kling’s recent accolades that made me pay closer attention. Now, having read “Disunited Nations”, I can see why Kling likes him. Zeihan approaches geopolitics through a relatively simple, yet fecund explanatory framework, akin to Kling’s “Three-Axes” model for politics.

Specifically, when evaluating geopolitical situations and trends Zeihan analyses relevant countries along four dimensions – geography & climate, access to
...more
Andrew Tollemache
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Talk about amazing timing! Zeihan drops his new book right at the begining of March 2020 right when the COVID-19 pandemic was going to make all his previous predictions and analysis look acclerated. In "DisUnited Nations" Zeihan does a country by country analysis of how well each nation is set up to fare in the coming dissolving of the US led post WW2 order. As he did in his previous 3 books Zeiahn expands his thesis that the US is going begin walking away from the International Order it establ ...more
David
Elements of this book are wildly improbable (collapse of Germany, Russia, and China) but other parts, the continued rise of America and the new winners (Japan, Turkey, France, and Argentina) seem reasonable.

The extremes of the author's position, and their bitter progressivism (how could this have happened and those evil MAGA folk), is sometimes difficult to swallow. On the whole, however, the book takes a good, hard, and believable look at the next ten to twenty years. That look, on the whole,
...more
Moritz Mueller-Freitag
Jul 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
A new age of American isolationism dawns. After seven decades, the US is giving up its role as the world’s policeman and is turning inward. America is belatedly realizing that its former foe, the Soviet Union, hasn’t been replaced by another competing superpower, making the American-led postwar alliance obsolete. Moreover, the US is now a self-sufficient nation, insulated geographically, food and energy independent (thanks to shale oil), and exhausted after two decades of fighting in the Middle ...more
Luc
Apr 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: I know next to nothing about geopolitics so read this review with a grain of salt.

A very entertaining book. The author is obviously very knowledgeable about geopolitics. His writing style makes is a very fun read as it feels like you are discussing fascinating topics with a friend at a bar. I was particularly entertained by the chapters that cover different countries and how they will fare in the new world order. They were fascinating discussions of how a country’s geography and his
...more
Jason Roberson
Aug 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Excellent country-by-country overview of the coming disorder era, post American pro-bono global security. The book doesn't have particularly great writing, but the concepts and historical references are brilliant.

Some excerpts for my own future reference:
___________________________

CHINA
When the credit Tabs are on, and they usually are, the money flow enables companies to ignore pesky things like productivity, market forces and input costs. Just take out another loan to cover cost and expand, ex
...more
Camilla
Aug 25, 2020 rated it liked it
So this was a strange book. Not what I was expecting at all, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. The author uses his very down-to-earth writing to assess a dozen countries in the world, and sort of analyze where the global powers will come from and which nations will not be in a position to seize power for a few decades and why. He makes conjectures as to who America's closest allies will become, who to watch out for, and why he thinks that is the case. I don't think I agree with him on most of ...more
Dmitry
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh, wow. The world where America does not care about maintaining peace and order and what it means for everyone else. Mr. Zeihan developed a very detailed and comprehensive analysis of what comes next. It is hard to put the book down, as the author goes through country after country looking at their borders, demographics, energy and food supply, and what their options are once America pulls out. The scenario seems very plausible, but I would think that it is hardly the only possible course of de ...more
Denise
Mar 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2020
Zeihan paints a detailed, thoroughly alarming and disconcertingly plausible picture of where geopolitics might be headed in the coming decades, taking into account current trends, geography, changing demographics and more. I don't agree with all of the assumptions he makes (such as e.g. that the end of the EU is pretty much a foregone conclusion), but while this is largely an exercise on conjecture, it is a scarily well-founded one. ...more
Marcos Novoa
Jun 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Provocative book that tries to predict the rebalance of power among countries in a less american-controlled world. It sounded simplist sometimes, but not less interesting. Read it not as a absolute and complete perspective, but as ONE perspective that can rise relevant questions/reflections about how the world would function in the future. It is a 3.5 stars book.
Bindesh Dahal
Oct 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Insightful
William Fish
Mar 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Chocked full of historical, geographical and political knowledge. Builds a terrifying view of the future based on causal necessity and a reversion to mercentile imperialism of the past based on the end of peaceful trade as we know it. Lots of broad speculation with some compelling reasoning. I couldn't put it down - mainly out of a sense of despair and terror. This is not a book that will make you feel good about mankind or hopeful. ...more
Peter Phillips
Where are the footnotes? After completing The Accidental Superpower, I had the impression that the USA would become isolationist. Finishing Zeihan’s most recent book suggests that while it will stop being global policeman, it will still intervene in parts of the world but the how, when and why will be quite different from what it is today. Due to the Coronavirus, I think some of his predictions can occur even sooner than expected. I wish he left out the bad puns.
Rachel
Dec 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
It was interesting to read about a topic that someone has spent their life studying and writing about, when comparatively I have spent ‘no’ time even thinking about many of the topics discussed in this book.

I especially enjoyed the mini-lesson in history and geography included in the beginning of each chapter. I found the ‘report card’ at the end of each chapter to be a succinct and helpful way to remember what I had read and useful for future reference. I found many of Zeihan’s theories to be
...more
Kodi
Feb 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, politics
Great dive into geopolitics and geography. Should probably read twice to fully digest.
Monta
Nov 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love Peter Zeihan's books! This book is a...mazing! Zeihan is a geopolitical strategist, and and incredibly interesting author. His subject matter could very well be a slog, but it's NOT! This book about a post-order world is not only well thought out, it's also well laid out and organized. He tackles each country in a chapter, with a brief, one-page summary he calls a "report card." Are you wondering what may happen, geopolitically, as the world becomes less connected and more isolationist? T ...more
Brian
Apr 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Both depressing and uplifting, it's Zeihan continuing the story of our future, while our future works doubletime to catch up. As he says, this book is coming out years ahead of when he thought it would because events are accelerating and catching up with what he's been talking about.

And that was before COVID-19.

This book, obviously, doesn't mention our latest viral scourge. He throws down a LOT of markers for the next decade, things like:

- war between Germany and Russia.
- something that looks a
...more
Ryl
Mar 07, 2020 rated it liked it
A scathing, cutting, and terrifyingly realistic dissection of what the world order is dissolving into - not fifty years from now, but rather within the coming half-decade at most (Zeihan has stated that he rushed this book to publication, skipping a third followup to his "Accidental Superpower", because publishing this work 24 months from now would be "too late").

Others have summarized his key points better than I can, and I dislike summarizing a books entire thesis in a review anyways. My bott
...more
Fraser Kinnear
Zeihan starts from the premise that the United States is disengaging from the post-war order that they established (free trade and global standards, protection of ocean trade routes and merchant marine activities, etc.), and speculates on the futures of ten countries from their current macro-economic and geopolitical positions.

What are these positions? Zeihan has a very simple formula, evaluating if a country has:
1. Viable home territories with usable lands and defensible borders
2. A reliable f
...more
Tharkûn
Jan 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
Disunited Nations - Peter Zaihan

My review will be hampered by my choice to listen to this on audiobook. First, the narrator wasn't great, and kept misemphasizing sentences. Second, the book is full of details that I cannot possibly remembered. Also, having read this so close to his previous book, I'll surely mix ideas from the two up.

This is something of an updated version of "Accidental Superpower". Here he lays out his thesis of the state of global affairs and how he sees things proceeding. Th
...more
Rodrigo Rivera
Mar 14, 2020 rated it did not like it
Disunited Nations is a swift read. Although it has around 500 pages, one can read the book in less than a weekend. If you know Zeihan from his Youtube videos or his previous books, you already know what this book is all about: The US is retiring from world affairs driven by advances in the shale oil industry, and this will make the planet fall into chaos.

In previous publications, he told us about the wars and conflicts to come. In this book, he focuses on the countries he believes will fail and
...more
Brahm
In Disunited Nations, Zeihan is typically engaging and provocative and snarky, the book is a quick read and is quite interesting.

Zeihan's thesis is that America is pulling back from its role as World Police, a role he described in-depth in The Accidental Superpower (my review - tl;dr we have the US of A to thank for safety on the high seas which enables all safe trade). Once the World Police hang up their hats, the world descends into various levels of chaos as the engine of globalization stall
...more
Grant
Sep 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Disunited Nations is a challenging read, not because of any problems with the writing style, but because of the actual subject matter. Zeihan has a lot of hot takes, and while he backs up his prognostications with research, I found myself in frequent disagreement or, sometimes, irritated. It's contrarian in some ways, and thought-provoking in many more. In short, Zeihan feels the post-WWII order is an aberration, not a natural state, and foresees American retrenchment and isolationism leading to ...more
Serge
Oct 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is very original and entertaining. that being said, it should not be seen as a prediction of the future. it is too deterministic and leaves too many things out. this is typical of someone who is an analyst – their job is to come up with a fascinating take on the world and keep repeating that story.

It is full of very original thoughts that have not occurred to me before, in particular the ways that the US has enabled the world i take for granted to appear. the geography arguments are al
...more
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Geopolitical Strategist Peter Zeihan is a global energy, demographic and security expert.

Zeihan’s worldview marries the realities of geography and populations to a deep understanding of how global politics impact markets and economic trends, helping industry leaders navigate today’s complex mix of geopolitical risks and opportunities. With a keen eye toward what will drive tomorrow’s headlines, h
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