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The Storm Before the Calm: America's Discord, the Coming Crisis of the 2020s, and the Triumph Beyond

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  43 ratings  ·  14 reviews
256 pages
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David Wineberg
Dec 10, 2019 rated it liked it
There has been a minor trend of books predicting the end of the American Empire by 2030. The Storm Before The Calm at first appears to be yet another, but it is more nuanced and clever. It doesnt predict the end, but a new beginning, one that happens every 50-80 years since America was founded. The idea is that there are two series of waves or cycles: the institutional one runs 80 years (or so), and the economic/sociological one runs 50 years. For the first time ever, they will almost overlap in ...more
İdil Berfin Akın
Mar 07, 2020 rated it did not like it
I'd give this a 0 if I could bye
Casey Wheeler
I had high hopes for this book, but was sorely disappointed. Friedman puts forth two theories of change over the course of history for the United States. One is institutional that occurs approximately every 80 years and one is economic/social that occurs every 50 years. He postulates that these two are going to occur at the same time for the first time in the 2020s. I found his arguements to be weak in that the facts he has used to develop his theory ignore several times where they occurred ...more
Ron Housley
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Storm before the Calm
©2020
George Friedman


A short Book Report by Ron Housley

I ran across George Friedman over a decade ago when he was the driving force behind Stratfor, before Geopolitical Futures had ever got off the ground. There was something there, some hint of deep understanding and insight about how the world operated, something mysterious and intriguing.

In this current book, George constructs a theory to account for the ebb and flow of historical events, showing us various cycles
...more
Rita
Mar 14, 2020 rated it did not like it
It is hard for me to believe George Friedman wrote this. He does not use citations or a bibliography, or even an index, but I enjoyed reading his previous books regardless. He stuck to geopolitics mainly in his previous books. This one is much different and much less interesting. The text is dull. Friedman normally has a more concise and witty style of writing. The ideas are also dull. It's as if the Heritage Foundation wrote this one. His theory of 'cycles' were unconvincing to me. There are ...more
John
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
decline of industrialism-mass production required continual presence in the factory & was physical draining, making maintaining one's health very difficult. With the decline of industrialism & the rise of the service & tech industries, concentration on health maintenance became commonplace. Negative habits like smoking have declined, & more attention to exercise & diet has become common. This focus on health will expand.

What are the obligations among people when life
...more
Cyrus Shahriari
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chase Metcalf
Mar 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Another great book by George Friedman that builds on his previous explorations of America's geopolitical position and trajectory. The author describes an 80-year institutional and 50-year socio-economic cycle of crisis and stability that define America's history. He then notes that the 2020s will be the first time in the history of the Republic that these cycles will reach a crisis at the same time. In the end, he remains optimistic about the ability of America to reinvent itself and thrive ...more
Joel Azose
Mar 16, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
DNF.

The first third of the book makes you wade through a deeply White European Male-centric "recounting" of early American history, entirely devoid of primary sources, citations, or often any evidence at all for sweeping statements about demographic groups. Maybe Howard Zinn has ruined me for historical / political writing.

One question I couldn't shake was "Who is America for?" Over and over in that first section, Friedman makes statements about the ~character of America~. Unfortunately,
...more
Andrew Gibson
Mar 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was hooked on Friedman's work after "The Next 100 Years" so there's some bias here. Coherent, original, and tight- while also imperfect, with moments of nostalgia, and pro-Americanism. The potential for correlation posing as causation (which of course, remains to be seen) didn't bother me.

Stretching and compelling unified theory of America's history that provides a view of America's future - for the most part non-partisan.

Enjoyed the provocative takes on solving Higher Ed, the mutually
...more
Cade Patterson
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paul Haas
Mar 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great read that provides an in depth breakdown of two major Cycles that have shaped the US over 50 and 80 years respectively. He provides historical context before explaining what he believes to be the result of the ending of both cycles in the late 2020s.

Very interesting and thought provoking read.
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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 Weve Beenand Where Were Going, which forecasts the major events and challenges that will test America
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