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The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century [Kindle Edition]

George Friedman
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (387 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The New York Times Bestseller

If you think you know where the world is headed, think again

Mexico making a bid for global supremacy?

Poland becoming America’s closest ally?

World War III taking place in space?

It might sound fantastic but all these things can happen. In The Next 100 Years, George Friedman, author of the huge bestseller America’s Secret War offers a lucid, highly readable forecast of the changes we can expect around the world during the 21st century. He predicts where and why future wars will erupt, and how they will be fought; which nations will gain and lose economic and political power; and how new technologies and cultural trends will alter the way we live in the new century.



Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best of the Month, January 2009: "Be Practical, Expect the Impossible." So declares George Friedman, chief intelligence officer and founder of Strategic Forecasting, Inc. (Stratfor), a private intelligence agency whose clients include foreign government agencies and Fortune 500 companies. Gathering information from its global network of operatives and analysts (drawing the nickname "the Shadow CIA"), Stratfor produces thoughtful and genuinely engrossing analysis of international events daily, from possible outcomes of the latest Pakistan/India tensions to the hierarchy of Mexican drug cartels to challenges to Obama's nascent administration. In The Next 100 Years, Friedman undertakes the impossible (or improbable) challenge of forecasting world events through the 21st century. Starting with the premises that "conventional political analysis suffers from a profound failure of imagination" and "common sense will be wrong," Friedman maps what he sees as the likeliest developments of the future, some intuitive, some surprising: more (but less catastrophic) wars; Russia's re-emergence as an aggressive hegemonic power; China's diminished influence in international affairs due to traditional social and economic imbalances; and the dawn of an American "Golden Age" in the second half of the century. Friedman is well aware that much of what he predicts will be wrong--unforeseeable events are, of course, unforeseen--but through his interpretation of geopolitics, one gets the sense that Friedman's guess is better than most. --Jon Foro

From Publishers Weekly

With a unique combination of cold-eyed realism and boldly confident fortune-telling, Friedman (Americas Secret War) offers a global tour of war and peace in the upcoming century. The author asserts that the United States power is so extraordinarily overwhelming that it will dominate the coming century, brushing aside Islamic terrorist threats now, overcoming a resurgent Russia in the 2010s and 20s and eventually gaining influence over space-based missile systems that Friedman names battle stars. Friedman is the founder of Stratfor, an independent geopolitical forecasting company, and his authoritative-sounding predictions are based on such factors as natural resources and population cycles. While these concrete measures lend his short-term forecasts credence, the later years of Friedmans 100-year cycle will provoke some serious eyebrow raising. The armed border clashes between Mexico and the United States in the 2080s seem relatively plausible, but the space war pitting Japan and Turkey against the United States and allies, prognosticated to begin precisely on Thanksgiving Day 2050, reads as fantastic (and terrifying) science fiction. Whether all of the visions in Friedmans crystal ball actually materialize, they certainly make for engrossing entertainment. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1848 KB
  • Print Length: 274 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 038551705X
  • Publisher: Allison & Busby (January 18, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006WB7QKS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #237,097 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
496 of 575 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Predictio ad Absurdum February 26, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Although I am a large fan of America's Secret War and respect Mr. Friedman's logical thinking and intelligence, this book is an undertaking so far beyond the capability of man -trying to outline how the next 100 years of history will look- that even though it started off captivating it ultimately left me feeling like the whole thing was a fool's errand. It's not that the author is illogical or a nutcase as some of the negative reviewers have suggested, it's just that there's no way to meaningfully try to predict the simply unpredictable, regardless of the complexity of your analysis. And as the author stretches his future history farther and farther away from the present it simply becomes an implausibility on top of an implausibility on top of another implausibility to the point that any value the reader could derive nearly evaporates and I wish I had spent my time reading actual history.

Of course the author believes some rough prediction of the future is possible based on trends analysis, an understanding of strategic nature, and other such information. I immediately concede that trying to predict the future is not only necessary as a basis for security planning but can be done profitably over maybe 10 years, 20 at the extreme, but only if you build in a huge amount of risk management / "reserve" into your planning results to account for the inevitable unexpected. Thus my critique is simply with the overly ambitious timeline of the author rather than the endeavor itself.

There are some positives of the book which were informative and argue in favor of reading perhaps the first half for pertinent information and analysis.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Playing with the crystal ball August 1, 2009
Format:Hardcover
If it were not for the background and the reputation of the author, it would be easy to dismiss this book as surreal and way too imaginative. On the other hand Friedman should be commended for having the courage to look into the far future, beyond current trends and fads, and giving us a taste of international developments likely to happen within the next century.

He does a good job in preparing the reader to expect the unexpected to happen based on past history. What may sound silly now, may in fact be feasible in the future, and not necessarily far future either.

Pages are packed with very interesting insights and not surprisingly, USA is the center of history in the 21st century. Was 20th century not an American century also? Other players come on to the stage though, and as a Turk, I was really puzzled by his assertion of Turkey becoming a key global power player. It is hard to imagine now Turkey becoming much more than a regional superpower within next 50 years. It would require a succesful reformation movement in Islam for a non-Arab Muslim country to be able to lead the Muslim block, not to mention a reduction of oil based wealth creation in key Arab states that would force them to look for alliances beyond USA.

He makes a case for how the shift in demographics, mainly the drastic drop in birth rates, will alter how the history flows. His arguments and methods give us a glimpse of how a professional analyst applies his trade.

I did not agree with some of the technology related predictions and analysis. This seems his weakness and he was way off. Nuclear power will dominate for sure before we beam in microwave power from space. Solar energy is not free, except for solar heating.
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164 of 208 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is This How It Will Go? January 27, 2009
Format:Hardcover
When one takes into account the staggering advances that took place in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, it is a brave forecaster who would even attempt to predict the course of our (still relatively) new century. George Friedman undertakes this task in "The Next 100 Years".

Friedman opens by taking the reader through the twentieth century at twenty-year intervals, showing how the concerns in any given time period are quickly forgotten and replaced by new concerns. This prepares the reader to see that the twenty-first century will also be anything but static, either, as America will not be facing the same set of challenges by 2020 as we did on September 11, 2001, and will be dealing with many different issues as the century progresses.

The author is a very incisive thinker, relaying stunning insight after stunning insight in demonstrating how we arrived at where we are now, with Europe having been supplanted by America as the world's focal point.

Friedman contends that, far from declining (as many fear), America is just beginning its rise. The century will be characterized, he predicts, by regional powers attempting to form coalitions to limit American power, and America attempting to prevent the formation of such coalitions. This will ultimately result at mid-century in a war that will have many similarities with World War II--the war will begin with a surprise attack on a key American military target, will be fought against a familiar foe, will result in the development of stunning new technologies, and will be followed by a new golden age redolent of the one following World War II.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars But the content of the book is very good.
The package (also containing "The signal and the noise") was 2-3 days delayed.! The package had been given a heavy-handed treatment during transportation and was a bit... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Marianne Beck
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Book arrived in a perfect condition. Looked new.
Published 2 days ago by C. Samuel
3.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy
It is an interesting read, but does not seem to present any cogent reason for any of us to believe it, or even to buy stocks based on it.
Published 13 days ago by Motorguy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It is a good read recommended by a friend. Interesting take and conclusions.
Published 15 days ago by Johnnyhave
3.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking
I read this based on a recommendation of an acquaintance. Not my usual genre, beginning and ending were good, I got lost and therefore skimmed much of the speculative military... Read more
Published 15 days ago by K. Fox
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a must read for anyone who is a ...
This is a must read for anyone who is a novice in political science.
This book - even though it reviews the potentials for the next ten years- can be a classic political... Read more
Published 18 days ago by Dr. Fred
5.0 out of 5 stars I can not recommend this book enough
I read this book in 2010 and as Russia invades the Ukraine as if on queue in 2014, I re-read it. If you want to know what the future holds for America, I can not recommend this... Read more
Published 19 days ago by Michael Simpson
3.0 out of 5 stars with more predictions about China's place in the 21st century would be...
Lots of interesting projections, but Friedman fell flat on his fundamental forecast that the 21st century is America's century. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Linda's Kindle
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I am getting into this book as we speak. Very interesting.
Published 22 days ago by Dirk Cannon
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Pleased
Published 24 days ago by Lloyd Evans
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