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

George Friedman
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (373 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 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: #251,166 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
493 of 572 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 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Playing with the crystal ball August 1, 2009
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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31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Dawn of a New American Age? February 10, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I love coming across well-articulated viewpoints that challenge my own. It's almost always a win-win situation when this happens.

If I am convinced of the new point of view on its merits, then my worldview has been enhanced. My stance has moved from a position that is less correct to one that is more correct. If I remain unconvinced, on the other hand, then my original viewpoint has been strengthened... stress-tested and found worthy, as it were. And either way, new layers of nuance and subtlety are always a plus.

My views were certainly challenged - and yours will be too - by the stance in George Friedman's new book, "The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century."

The book pulls no punches. There are predictions in here that will surprise your socks off. Just consider some of the timeline bullets from the front cover:

* 2020: China Fragments.

* 2050: Global War Between U.S., Turkey, Poland, and Japan - The New Great Powers.

* 2080: Space-Based Energy Powers Earth.

* 2100: Mexico Challenges U.S.

If your initial reaction is anything similar to mine, it runs along the lines of "What?!? Is this guy smoking banana peels?"

Most assuredly he is not. Friedman is the founder and CEO of Stratfor, an outfit billed as "the world's leading private intelligence and forecasting company." Geopolitics is Friedman's game... and it's a game he takes very seriously.

Expect the Unexpected

Conventional thinkers dismiss wildly unexpected views out of hand. For Friedman, that's the whole point. "Expect the unexpected" is a geopolitical forecaster's mantra.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ!
Fantastic book worth every cent!
Published 57 minutes ago by peter marsella
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
Great book, one aspect is already happening!
Published 2 days ago by TK
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very good analysis for patriotic Americans -- does sound a bit conceited to others.
Published 5 days ago by N S RAO
4.0 out of 5 stars Stays true to STRATFOR style
Fun read with some great insight.
Published 5 days ago by Dudeist
5.0 out of 5 stars ... have any interest in what the world will look like for the rest of...
Everyone should read this book if you have any interest in what the world will look like for the rest of your life and the life of your kids. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Brett A Cohen
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth the effort, very interesting to understand America's global...
Mr Friedman has written an american book of history and geopolitics for Americans who have little idea of world history and geopolitics. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Dominique Charriere
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read
Good book.
Published 12 days ago by Dan Steel
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very happy
Published 18 days ago by Paul Harris
5.0 out of 5 stars Great analysis
A great analysis of the factors likely to shape our world going forward. I found myself shaking my head, questioning Friedman's assumptions and then slowly coming around to the... Read more
Published 23 days ago by grant
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book
Excellent view of the future using a number of techniques to forecast the future that are believable. Read more
Published 28 days ago by PAskew
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