Recently I had the pleasure of listening to the audio book The Post-American World by Fareed Zakaria, thanks to my friend Nuwan Samaranayake of Houston, Texas, USA. It was he who shared the audio book with me.
I enjoyed The Post-American World as much as I enjoyed The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman. Both the books have similarities in content, tone, attitude and journalistic approach in writing. Both the books are equally compelling to read.
Fareed Zakaria is an Indian American journalist. The Post-American World was published as hardcover in May 2008. It was made available in paperback in early May 2009 and the Updated and Expanded Release 2.0 followed in 2011.
The book starts with some startling facts that suggest the US dominance in the world is almost at the end but towards the end it reestablishes the fact that though the US has given in for some other countries to go beyond it in several areas, still the US’s place in the globe will remain unchallenged due to the resilient nature of the world’s great superpower. Though the other countries such as China and India take an edge in economic, industrial and cultural power, thanks to the expanding democracy throughout the globe, the USA will continue to dominate in the areas of political and military power.
The book has been divided into seven chapters. In the first chapter Zakaria describes how the power was shifted to the West during the Renaissance, then the USA becoming a superpower and likely shift of Power to countries like China, India and to the nongovernmental organizations in the coming decades. In the second and third chapters, Zakaria tells us how power was shifted to the West due to trade with foreign countries and higher labor productivity in the West. Power shifted to the USA because of the USA’s strong democracy and capitalist market. China dominates the fourth chapter. China’s change from rigid communist doctrines to market economy is described here. The fifth chapter belongs to India. Zakaria sees the contrasting differences between India and China and upper hand India has with its strong private sector, English savvy business community, democratic political system, independent courts, etc. America’s ascend to superpower status and how it uses its power is examined in the sixth chapter. The seventh chapter is full of advice to the USA on how to tackle the post-American world.
While reading the first few pages, you will get the impression that Zakaria’s book also is on the theme that goes alone with the idea that America’s demise is inevitable-genre of books that are mushrooming. But when you go on, you will understand that Zakaria’s attitude is different and he intelligently outlines that despite all the challenges put forwarded by the second string powers of the changing world, the USA is still the greatest and most powerful politically and militarily even though economic dominance might go to China and India. There is not a single country that can match the USA’s military might and its dominance in the world politics for decades to come.