Stig's Reviews > The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century

The Next 100 Years by George Friedman
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M 50x66
's review
Apr 19, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: books-in-english, history
Read in April, 2011

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 history is predictable. We'll see in 90 years. I think that many of his arguments are sound, based as they are on fairly permanent strategic imperatives and national interests; I also think that his technological predictions are fairly accurate.

I am more doubtful about some of the things he doesn't mention. The book has a very narrow focus on the relationship between the United States and its main rivals, while India, South America and Africa are only mentioned sporadically, if at all. I would be very surprised if India won't play a bigger role than predicted here, for example. And I didn't see the European Union mentioned at all. Friedman predicts a Third World War in the 2050s with current EU member states on different sides - what happened to the EU? Swept away during the first few decades of the 21st century, presumably, but under what circumstances?

Friedman also wrote a book on "The Coming War with Japan" some twenty years ago, and he has written a book on what the next decade will bring. The first scenario hasn't come to pass yet, and maybe it would be worth getting the second book and read it ten years from now, just to see how his prediction skills really measure up.
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