T.S. Cage's Reviews > The Post-American World: Release 2.0

The Post-American World by Fareed Zakaria
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's review
May 16, 2012

did not like it

Dubious at best, wrong at worst.

I did not expect the level of bias Zakaria spouts toward countries considered antagonists of America. I hoped this book would detail facts about the growth of countries outside America, and that it would give an interesting forecast on the global future. Instead, I found it deeply pandering to a pro-American audience - not the good kind of pro-America but the gullible sort who will "take his word for it" (rather than checking his facts) - and offering glossed over, tart, highly incorrect to the point of slanderous comments on other countries.

For example, where he speaks about the growing assertiveness in other countries, he says that "...Russia attacked and occupied parts of Georgia...." This glancing comment puts Russia as the instigator of the war when that was not how the war started at all. If you read this comment as he slips it in amidst other unrelated comments and you don't know the history behind it you immediately register Russia as the enemy. Russia was intervening against Georgia's military offensive. The reason they invaded Georgia that time was because the Georgians were invading their neighbour. Russia was not the aggressor, they were simply stopping the disruption of peace and stability in their immediate region. The Georgians knew the Russians would do this if they invaded South Ossetia but they did it anyway.

Later he says, "Iran's take from oil in 2006 amounted to $50 billion - enough to dispense patronage to interests groups, bribe the army, and stay in power while still having piles left over to foment trouble." This sentence drips with Iranian fear mongering, which is wrong on a variety of levels. So who needs alarmist and boogeyman comments like that? What place do they have in his book except to cater to an impressionable American audience? Apparently this author thinks Americans have no ability to follow political affairs outside of their country and just accept things told to them rather than things learned through discourse and research.

Maybe I am offended because this book is written with a thick American lens and therefore his opinions would be more relevant (and I guess more concerning?) to them than me (I am Canadian), but even still, I know enough about Russia and Iran to point out blatant inaccuracies and misrepresentations. Why does he feel the need to point out the "bad guys" every chance he gets? Is he a mud slinger? Shouldn't he be objective in his writing? Come on Zakaria, you're not being fair and the tone you use in these instances (and others) has ruined what should have been an interesting read.

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