Customer Reviews

92 Reviews
5 star:
4 star:
3 star:
2 star:
1 star:
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review

230 of 257 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If there is a more informative thinker writing today, you let me know - EXTRAORDINARY - 5 STARS !!!!
In the 1950's John Von Neumann was acknowledged as the greatest mathematician of the 20th century. A man so smart that the United States military said that when you asked Von Neumann a question, if he answered you, there was no need to think about it any longer. He was that far ahead of everyone else in the room. Author George Friedman is an extraordinary thinker, and he...
Published on January 25, 2011 by Richad of Connecticut

84 of 107 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars False Analogies
George Friedman is widely respected political scientist and scholar; still one can respect Friedman without necessarily agreeing with him.

In this book his basic premise that the 21st Century U.S. is an imperial power in the manner of the Roman Empire and British Empire is simply wrong by any rational standards. The Roman Empire, at its height, was a centrally...
Published on March 5, 2011 by Retired Reader

‹ Previous | 1 210 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

230 of 257 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If there is a more informative thinker writing today, you let me know - EXTRAORDINARY - 5 STARS !!!!, January 25, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
In the 1950's John Von Neumann was acknowledged as the greatest mathematician of the 20th century. A man so smart that the United States military said that when you asked Von Neumann a question, if he answered you, there was no need to think about it any longer. He was that far ahead of everyone else in the room. Author George Friedman is an extraordinary thinker, and he is paid to think, which makes for an interesting profession. Born in Hungary, and educated at the City College of New York, he has a Ph.D. in government from Cornell. He then teaches for 20 years at Dickinson College.

His real deal however is that for years he would brief senior commanders in the armed services, and you can't blow smoke when you do this. People simply get onto you, and they do not suffer fools gladly. For years now, he has run Stratfor which is a think tank specializing in intelligence matters. They also have a paid subscription service for those who are interested in current, cutting edge information on geo-political matters. He has authored more than a half dozen books, all of which have been profoundly interesting and what I call page-turners.

In this book, The Next Decade, Friedman only goes out ten years in time compared to his previous work when he went out 100 years. It is the author's contention that with the demise of the Soviet Union, the United States has become pre-eminent in the world militarily, politically, economically, and no one is even close. We have become an EMPIRE like it or not. Now we may be an Empire that doesn't like being an Empire similar to ancient Rome or Great Britain in the 19th century, but it doesn't change facts, and the facts are we are what we are.

The second theme of this book is that since we are an Empire, we must learn to manage the Empire, and at this, it does not seem that we have given it much thought. The author does a thorough job of going through three Presidents, Lincoln, FDR and Reagan, all of whom were great influences in the creation of our Empire. As Great Britain was the pivot point of the world up until WWI, the United States is now the pivot point or fulcrum of the world and that is not going to change. His feelings on China are darn right fascinating. He believes the so-called Chinese miracle will come to an end fairly soon, and China's growth rate will slow down to that of a mature economic power. This may well be. It is also Friedman's opinion that in another five years if China's growth continues, they will still have a billion people living in abject poverty. You don't read this kind of thinking anywhere else.

Is An EMPIRE Worth the Price of a Republic?

Friedman very clearly brings forth a concept that the very creation of an empire means a loss of liberty to some extent for its citizens. The question becomes how great a loss, but it is obvious that the author worries about this loss of liberty. Do we want our government to install sufficient numbers of computers at the National Security Agency to monitor one billion phone calls? What does this mean for democracy in America, and the loss of personal freedom associated with it? This is really the big question for the author, and it needs to be thought about and answered.

On the foreign policy side, the author believes that terrorism cannot be eradicated from the earth, but sufficiently damaged as to bring it under control. Al Qaeda has sought to create chaos in the Muslim world, and reconstitute an Islamic Caliphate, which was a theocracy established by Mohammad in the 7th century. Clearly, this is not going to happen. At the same time, the United States invades Iraq, and then re-invades Afghanistan recently, a process Friedman refers to as slamming into the Muslim world. These are really spoiling attacks, and they cost us dearly in terms of treasure, and energy.

We have put a trillion dollars into Iraq and we don't even know the amount for Afghanistan, although we do know that one American solider costs us one million dollars per year to send overseas. That amounts to a billion dollars per 1,000 soldiers, a number that is not even comprehendible under normal thinking. Friedman's answer seems to be that the United States should encourage regional balances of power. If we continue to build up Japan, South Korea and Indonesia, than we do not have to worry about China. This is because China will be concerned with their newly powerful neighbors.

He feels that we have not created a proper working relationship with Russia, and we have driven the Russians into a working relationship with the Germans of all people. At first it does not make sense, but then when you follow his logic and this author always has impeccable logic, it does make sense. The Germans do not want any more immigration. They have massive problems with the people coming into the country now including the Arabs. At the same time, the Germans have massive technological expertise, on a par with America. The Russians have massive manpower and not technology. You can combine the two and both Germany and Russia will benefit. It makes sense, and this is why you read Friedman. So what is the answer for America in the event this alliance becomes stronger? The answer is we re-invigorate Poland, to offset the power created by Germany and its new friend Russia.


I have always looked forward to George Friedman's next new book. His thinking is refreshing, it's original, it's provocative, but most of all, it is always brilliant and cutting edge. Every time I read Friedman, I feel like I am the President of the United States getting a briefing on a topic. It is that good. When he talks about the United States being a DEEP POWER, and Europe being a WEAK POWER, it all becomes clear. It hits it right on the head when he says that we Americans don't like being an Empire. We don't want an Empire, but we like the BENEFITS OF ONE. We want all the growth potential of OPEN MARKETS but we don't want the PAIN that comes from it. In politics we want and have enormous INFLUENCE in the world, but we don't want other people's RESENTMENT, and it goes hand in hand.

Finally, we are a COMMERCIAL REPUBLIC. As a 200 year old country, we were built on TRADE. That is why we have the largest navy in history-to protect the sea lanes. As the dominant power on the earth we have to manage our power. We could choose not to, but if we choose to be oblivious to our power, than the author likens us to a rampaging elephant and that doesn't seem helpful. Read the book and enlighten yourself. We are citizens of the most important country ever created. We owe it to ourselves to be individually responsible for our country's acts. Buy the book today, and thank you for reading this review.

Richard C. Stoyeck
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Machiavelli for the 21st Century, February 25, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
George Friedman's "The Next Decade" could alternately be described as Machiavelli 101 or a crash course in realpolitik.

Friedman's central thrust is this: America is an accidental empire - like it or hate it, the world must deal with it - and it is thus in the United States' best interest to maintain the "balance of power" at all costs.

The balance of power is predicated on status quo. When you are at the top of the heap (as America is in Friedman's view), any major shifts threaten to destabilize the top dog's position. As the British and Roman empires did before it, the American empire must anticipate and prevent such shifts, blocking up-and-comers from excessive power accumulation.

As Friedman sees it, a century is about events but a decade is about people. The main actor over the next ten years will be the POTUS, or President of the United States. In his role as shaper of strategy and manager of expectations, the POTUS must act as a classic "prince" in the Machiavelli mold.

This role also involves double-dealing with the populace, in terms of appearing to meet unreasonable demands (such as overwhelming focus on the war on terrorism) while actually focusing on more critical things (behind-the-scenes issues too nuanced or complicated to explain).

To safeguard America's interests, Friedman endorses what one might call an enlightened amorality - doing what is necessary for the sake of the greater good. Friedman argues for a middle ground between the idealists and the realists, pointing out unworkable flaws at both extremes. The idealists are ill-equipped to function in the real world, while the realists find themselves lost without a guiding moral compass. Ruthless execution in commitment to moral principle is the solution Friedman endorses.

It is easy to see how many people, Americans and non-Americans alike, will be offended by this book. Some will resent the broad brush strokes Friedman uses. Others will resent the hard-nosed subordination of idealistic principles, or strongly disagree with certain controversial forecasts.

But in many ways this book is more valuable as a high level thinking exercise than a blueprint for world events. It is useful to understand, if only in abstract, the various drivers that shape international relations - many of them deliberately unspoken.

Within the text, Friedman makes many provocative assertions. For example:

* Increased global interdependence via free trade can actually increase, rather than decrease, the danger of war.

* Osama Bin Laden's goal in attacking the U.S. was to encourage local overthrow of Middle Eastern governments (by demonstrating that seemingly invulnerable power structures are actually weak).

* Iran calculatingly embraced a "North Korea" strategy of appearing crazy and unstable for greater advantage at the negotiation table.

* It will be in America's best interests (from a balance of power standpoint) to back away from Israel - and strike up an uneasy strategic partnership with Iran.

* The European Union was formed out of necessity as a counterbalance to the consolidated power of America and the USSR.

* Poland will be a regional linchpin, especially in terms of counterbalancing a Germany-Russia linkage.

* The U.S. will need a nurturing relationship with China to contain a growing power imbalance with Japan (rather than the other way round).

Again, the most helpful thing about "The Next Decade" is not necessarily the accuracy of the fault lines portrayed, but the illumination of critical thinking as applied by geopolitical strategists in today's world.

As a trader with a global macro focus, my biggest criticism - and the reason the book only gets four stars - is because of the short shrift given to the causes and consequences of the global financial crisis.

In his chapter on the financial crisis, Friedman tips his hand early by saying "there was nothing at all extraordinary about what happened in 2008." (Really!) For the next few pages, the tendency to engage in sweeping generalities overlooks critical details that still shape the world situation today.

Friedman seems oblivious to the fact that the Federal Reserve, the banking system it serves, and Wall Street on the whole have their own internal geopolitics - a mix of influence, legacy and corruption that impacts the global economy greatly.

One is willing to give Friedman a partial pass in this area, as macroeconomics and monetary policy are not his chosen forte. Still, though, the weighting of various financial crisis variables seemed unacceptably light, given how money and finance could aggressively shape some potentially dramatic outcomes in the next few years. (Weimar Germany anyone? Panic of 1907?)

All in all, "The Next Decade" is a fast read (243 pages, written in plain English) that will certainly make you think, whether you whole-heartedly adopt Friedman's view or disagree with every page. The book could prove an especially fruitful exercise for traders and investors seeking to hone their big picture skills, via the extra practice of connecting dots and putting puzzle pieces together.

Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

45 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The 2010s in the Eyes of a Top-Flight Thinker, January 25, 2011
As hard as it is to believe, it has been more than a decade since the big ball fell in Times Square to denote the arrival of the twenty-first century. The first ten years of the century were dominated by the 9/11 attacks and the response to them that followed, as well as the financial crisis that rocked the world late in the decade. In "The Next Decade," George Friedman turns his attention to the second decade of the century.

Friedman argues that the United States is now an empire in that we can "rarely take a step without threatening some nation or benefiting another," and that we have an effect on so many countries--in some cases the impact is huge.

The author is concerned that America will lose the soul of its republic, and describes the type of president the country will need in order to balance the demands of empire with the retention of the republic, and showed how Lincoln, FDR, and Reagan balanced various demands in the past in order to further America's best interest.

The Middle East was the central focus of attention for our foreign policy in the last decade, and Friedman puts forth proposed solutions for relations with Israel and Iran in the new decade. He supports a balance of power approach that prevents coalitions from forming against U.S. interests and avoids the necessity of America becoming bogged down in any one region of the world, and also offers his opinion concerning the viability of the total elimination of the threat from terrorists.

Europe was repeatedly a flashpoint in the twentieth century, and the author devotes two chapters of the book to Russia and Europe--he thinks that one of the great dangers that Europe will face in the 2010s is a renewed entente between Russia and Germany and what the United States can do to prevent such an alliance. Other chapters discuss the Western Pacific, Africa, and the Western Hemisphere.

The majority of "The Next Decade" is devoted to foreign policy, but Friedman does look back at the 2008 financial crisis and the effect it will have on governments around the world in the near future. The author closes with a chapter on technology and demography, and discusses how those two areas will present challenges that must be addressed in the next ten years.

When the Soviet Union fell, many believed that history as we knew it was coming to an end. The first decade of the century proved otherwise, and whether or not you agree with Friedman on every issue, this book is an outstanding guide by one of America's best thinkers to "The Next Decade."
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mandatory Reading for Anyone Wanting to Understand How the World Works, May 27, 2011
The Next Decade is a very different type of book than Friedman's previous work, The Next 100 Years. While "100" was a bold forecast of political, economic, technological and even demographic trends for the next century, "Decade" is more philosophical.

In the opening chapters, Friedman discusses America's place in the world and struggles with some of the questions that perplex thinkers on both the left and the right. Is the United States a republic--or an empire? And if it is an empire, how should its massive power and influence be used? And in such a system, what are the respective roles of the American president, congress, and international institutions like the United Nations and NATO?

In addressing these issues, some of Friedman's conclusions may prove to be unsettling to some readers. Friedman writes:

"I invite readers to consider two themes. The first is the concept of the unintended empire. I argue that the United States has become an empire not because it intended to, but because history has worked out that way. The issue of whether the United States should be an empire is meaningless. It is an empire.

"The theme of this that justice comes from power, and power is only possible from a degree of ruthlessness most of us can't abide."

In a departure from his usual political aloofness, Friedman does make specific recommendations in The Next Decade, making it a very different kind of book for the veteran analyst. Unlike most "policy" books, however, Friedman appears to go beyond politics and ideology, focusing instead on the concept of power itself and how it is wielded. In words sure to alienate and offend readers across the political spectrum, Friedman suggests that the American president--be he a republican or democrat--must be a duplicitous, Machiavellian character that tells the voting public what it wants to hear while at the same time running a complex foreign policy in which what is said publically is often very different from what is said and done behind closed doors. He must be utterly ruthless in executing a strategy that is nonetheless guided by moral principle. The ends--when critical enough--justify the means, even be they immoral or unconstitutional. The realities of running a global empire--even an informal one like that of the United States--requires quasi-autocratic power.

Thoughts on the Rise of China

Friedman is very much a contrarian thinker in his view of American power. While decrying the decline of America is a virtual national pastime on both the left and the right, Friedman does not subscribe to this dreary view. Even if Afghanistan and Iraq have demonstrated the limits of the country's military capabilities (at least within current budgetary constraints), America's economy accounts for fully a quarter of all global output. Though new innovation centers are popping up in places as far away as Israel and India, Silicon Valley continues to be the engine that drives technological innovation. Even after the ravages of Dodd-Frank, New York remains in a virtual tie with London as the world's financial center. And while Russia, Brazil, Turkey, and Iran are all running more assertive foreign policies these days, the world continues to operate in an American-dominated political order. America's place in the world will not be challenged anytime soon--least of all by China.

As Friedman writes,

"Absent a major, devastating war, any realignment of international influence based on economics will be a process that takes generations, if it happens at all. China is said to be the coming power. Perhaps so. But the U.S. economy is 3.3 times larger than China's. China must sustain an extraordinarily high growth rate for a long time in order to close its gap with the United States.

"In 2009, the United States accounted for 22.5 percent of all foreign direct investment in the world, which, according to the United Nations Council on Trade and Development, makes it the world's single largest source of investment. China, by comparison, accounted for 4.4 percent. The United States also may well be the largest borrower in the world, but that indebtedness does not reduce its ability to affect the international system. Whether it stops borrowing, increases borrowing, or decreases it, the American economy constantly shapes global markets. It is the power to shape that is important."

Furthermore, China lacks the economic and demographic depth of a developed country. According to the People's Bank of China sixty million Chinese (as Friedman notes, a population equivalent to that of a large European country) live in middle-class households, defined as those earning more than $20,000 a year. But given China's population of 1.3 billion people, 60 million is less than 5 percent of the total population.

Six hundred million Chinese live in households earning less than $1,000 a year, and another 440 million Chinese live in households earning between $1,000 and $2,000 a year--conditions that compare with the poverty of sub-Saharan Africa. Yet in spite of this, Chinese labor costs are rising, and China no longer has a wage advantage over countries like Pakistan and the Philippines.

Friedman sees China facing the threat of massive internal unrest and even the possibility of civil war. Rather than continue to expand its influence on the international stage, the Chinese government will be forced to dedicate more resources to keeping the peace at home. Suffice it to say, the next century will not be the Chinese Century as many now proclaim.

On the Role of the State

Friedman's analysis here will no doubt ruffle some feathers. As irritating as it might be to free-marketers like myself, it is nonetheless true: "The modern free market is an invention of the state, and its rules are not naturally ordained but simply the outcome of political arrangements."

My lip instinctively curled at that statement, but it is true in all practical senses. As Friedman elaborates, the foundation of the modern economy is the corporation, and the corporation is a legal entity created by states (as are limited partnerships, LLCs and other entities). The state is also essential as a settler of disputes via the civil court system, and the crafter of the regulatory and tax regime in which companies and individuals operate.

Though we prefer the state to be as unintrusive as possible, there is unfortunately no such thing as a truly free market. Even Hong Kong in its heyday under British rule had some small measure of state authority.

The balance of power between the state and the private sector oscillates with public confidence in both. Rightly or wrongly, Americans lost faith in the market in the early years of the Great Depression and turned instead to the state. When it became obvious that the Roosevelt political realignment was impeding American growth and competitiveness in the late 1970s, the Reagan Revolution swung the pendulum back towards the market. Now, in the aftermath of the mortgage meltdown, financiers are again held in disrepute and the state has assumed a larger role. Politics, like most things in life, tend to follow cycles.

Parting Thoughts

While I consider The Next 100 Years a better all-around read, I do recommend The Next Decade. Friedman's comments about the wielding of imperial power will be somewhat offensive to some, but try to resist shooting the messenger. Friedman simply explains what he believes to be the cold, hard reality.

Friedman's analysis of geopolitical, economic, and demographic trends is among the very best. Consider adding him to your reading list.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

84 of 107 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars False Analogies, March 5, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
George Friedman is widely respected political scientist and scholar; still one can respect Friedman without necessarily agreeing with him.

In this book his basic premise that the 21st Century U.S. is an imperial power in the manner of the Roman Empire and British Empire is simply wrong by any rational standards. The Roman Empire, at its height, was a centrally administered political entity in which imperial officials governed subject provinces, provincial subjects paid taxes and served in the Roman army, and the Roman Army (Cohorts and Legions) were stationed throughout the empire to protect imperial frontiers and maintain internal security. The Roman Empire was a discernable political entity with clear lines of authority between rulers and ruled. The British Empire was a centrally administered commercial empire held together by the Royal Navy and the imperial civil service who provided administrators (police and governors) for its colonial possessions.

The U.S. is by virtue of an extraordinarily high military budget may be the predominant military power in the world, but its far flung military presence is not any thing like the control exercised by the Roman Legions or Royal Navy. Although the U.S. economy is largest in the world, Washington D.C. does not exercise anywhere the same direct influence over world commerce that Rome and London did at the height of their respective empires. In short it is difficult to see how the U.S. can be equated to either empire so the question asked by Friedman, if the U.S. Republic can withstand the strains of empire is a moot one.

Having begun with a false premise, Friedman compounds the error by building a set of prognostic descriptions of U.S. relations with individual countries and regions as the decade of 2010-2020 moves forward. In this effort he apparently fails to understand the effects that the phenomenon of globalization is having on the international stage. Now `globalization' is a widely used term with many interpretations. In this case the term is used to mean the rapidly growing inter-connectivity and inter-dependence of both nation states and geographical regions both economically and culturally. It is a major mistake to treat U.S. relations to specific countries or regions of the world as simply one-on-one relations without recognizing their global implications.

For these reasons, although this book as usual contains a good deal of wisdom, in the end it fails to provide a realistic prediction of U.S. international progress over the next decade.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How the World Works, October 11, 2011
charles peterson (Keller/Fort Worth, Texas) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Friedman may be right, he may be wrong.....he is probably some of both. Under any circumstances, he has a very interesting and thought provoking perspective on geopolitics and the role of the United States in the scheme of things.

Friedman opines that, like it or not, the U.S. is a modern day empire. Other reviewers take issue with that, but Friedman defends his argument well. He further opines that today's U.S. President must operate in a Machiavellian manner if he/she is to be successful. The President needs a moral compass, needs to try to do good, but at the end of the day, he/she must do what must be done to protect our own self interest. This often includes partnering with unsavory nations to achieve satisfactory ends. We can't rule the world....but we must leverage our influence to keep the world "in balance."

Even though I am reasonably well educated, read and informed, I must admit to having an often simplistic view of geopolitics--"good guys v bad guys," etc etc. Friedman's thinking has helped open my eyes.

I was very interested in the author's views on China, Russia and India/Pakistan. His thoughts on South America, Australia and Africa were also interesting. I was most fascinated though by his observations on the U.S. immigration and drug issues with Mexico and by his views on climate change and energy policy. (In both cases, he predicts that the U.S. will say one thing but do another.) He also argues that, as a nation, we need to "grow up" and act like adults in the world order. In almost all cases, I bought into his conclusions.

Unlike Friedman's "The Next Hundred Years" (which I also enjoyed), this book deals with a much more manageable time frame. The book reads well and gives the reader a lot to think about.

Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Analysis, July 17, 2013
This review is from: The Next Decade: Empire and Republic in a Changing World (Paperback)
The level of depth and analysis of this book is really astounding. I was absolutely blown away. This book describes the intricacies of the world in incredible detail. The boom line is that this is one of those books that really makes you think. The best part about this book is that it is not intending to thrust some political narrative onto you. The book is essentially apolitical and honest. It is primarily observational without spin. In today's writing it is rare to find those qualities. I can't wait to read other books by Friedman. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to take an honest look at the U.S.'s strange position in the world.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Geopolitical Perspectives Violence on the U.S. Mexican Border, September 3, 2011
The Borderlands with the trapings of geopolitical issues that shape Americans perspective on immigration, bordertown violence, cheap labor influencing economic conditions - employment, and the lack of US policies that encompass them.

Friedman offers several researched articles to support the documented growth of violence on the U.S. -Mexican border. The articles offer a prediction based on current intelligence. Friedman discusses that the trends of violence along our border indicates a threat to our national security. The drugs, money, guns, and human trafficking that occurs daily threatens Arizona, the Borderlands, and U.S.-Mexican Relations. Friedman offers the following strategic problem that requires solving before relationships can improve. Historically, the U.S. defeat of Mexico settled the issue of the relative power of Mexico and the United States but did not permanently resolve the region's status. The geopolitics of immigration between the United States and that of Mexico is different when compared to other immigrants who settle in the United States. The fact that Mexico's immigrants often transverse between the two countries offer immigration and custom challenges to national security. These issues have consequences and implications in understanding immigration issues, the threat of al-Qaeda using these gaps, and the dependency of Mexico's economy on the drug money and laundering that occurs within their border.

Also worth considering if interested in geopolitical issues and international relationships:

The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good read, March 5, 2014
This was a good book providing a perspective on why America dabbles in global affairs and how it should continue to do so in the future. I often desire for the USA to focus domestically and let the rest of the world shape their own destiny. This book provided a good counter on why that isn't possible.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book had a major impact on me, October 3, 2011
Glenn A. Carleton (Apple Valley MN USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I am not qualified to determine if the conclusions reached in the book are credible, regardless I found this a fascinating read. While reading it, I found myself sharing points made with others, points most people would never think about and were surprised to hear. The book evaluates where America is today and how we got here (world domination with no competitor for power), it seems clear how lucky America has been over the last 200 plus years. While our present lofty status might be largely due to "exceptionism" we all want to believe in, much also might be just plain good luck and fortune and not due to our innate capabilities we also want to believe in. For example, the impact of how our major rivers flow and the impact that made to our eventual rapid growth and industry, flowing north/south, not east/west like in most countries - resulting in unification of the country versus in Europe's east/west resulting in separation / segmentation. For me, the conclusions reached and projections made make sense, if not shocking in some cases. The likely demise of China, the improved relationship of Germany with Russia over the U.S., already evident in events in the last year, the most of all for me the expected rise of Japan and potential alliance with Turkey. Much of the book focuses on the importance of controlling the sea and ocean lanes, which seems obvious when reading it, but never thought about it before. This book covers so many potential future scenarios by country, and even if wrong, one learns a great deal about the analysis of the situation we find ourselves in today. The book had such an impact on me, I since went to his website and joined the research offered, and thus finding my understanding of foreign events to grow each day - this is what the author does for a living, versus write a one-off book; he has a full staff, huge resources to do deep thinking and research. Ironic, I came across this book while looking for Tom Friedman's new book (George's name came up, saw the title and was intrigued), and while I got that book too, this is one of the books I found the most enjoyable and educational, even if his conclusions turn out to be wrong. This book will make you think Big Picture, historically, and futuristically.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

‹ Previous | 1 210 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First


The Next Decade: Empire and Republic in a Changing World
The Next Decade: Empire and Republic in a Changing World by George Friedman (Paperback - January 10, 2012)
$16.95 $9.82
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.