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Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization Hardcover – April 19, 2016
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"This book is bad news for President Trump's chief advisor, SteveBannon, and his colleagues at Breitbart Media. Author Parag Khanna'smeticulous mapping of our planet's human-designed infrastructure cannotbe deconstructed, and neither can its administrative apparatus of global agreements and deal making---short of a nuclear holocaust..... InConnectography, Khanna traces his own extensive travels around thisplanet, basing his thesis that humanity's global connectiveinfrastructure now requires a new approach and a field of study beyondtraditional geopolitics and geo-economics..... Khanna's Connectographyis stunningly buttressed by 18 fascinating cartograms mapping this newworld.... I found Connectography invaluable and compelling reading. Itreminded me of Jane Jacobs' granular descriptions in her The Death andLife of Great American Cities (1961) and The Economy of Cities (1969).This book will dispel any ideas of closing borders, building walls toexclude immigrants or pursuing old goals of military superiority andspheres of geopolitical influence." -- Hazel Henderson, Seeking Alpha
“Incredible . . . We don’t often question the typical world map that hangs on the walls of classrooms—a patchwork of yellow, pink and green that separates the world into more than two hundred nations. But Parag Khanna, a global strategist, says that this map is, essentially, obsolete. . . . With the world rapidly changing and urbanizing, [Khanna’s] proposals might be the best way to confront a radically different future.”—The Washington Post
“Clear and coherent . . . Khanna provides a rare account of the physical infrastructure of globalization. . . . Khanna also provides a well-researched account of how companies are weaving ever more complicated supply chains that pull the world together even as they squeeze out inefficiencies. . . . [He] has succeeded in demonstrating that the forces of globalization are winning the battle for connected space, building tunnels, bridges and pipelines at an astonishing pace.”—Adrian Woolridge, The Wall Street Journal
“Bold . . . With an eye for vivid details, Khanna has nevertheless produced an engaging geopolitical travelogue, unearthing the Internet cables, energy pipelines, and electrical grids that link regions together more closely than ever before and allow people to lead increasingly connected lives. In his view, connectivity is transforming conflict between states into competition for access to the world’s infrastructure of networks and markets.”—Foreign Affairs
“For those who fear that the world is becoming too inward-looking, Connectography is a refreshing, optimistic vision. . . . The most convincing point in the book concerns policy prescriptions. To become part of global supply chains, Mr. Khanna argues, it is essential to invest in infrastructure. China, in particular, has built a sprawling network of ports, canals and the like across the world to acquire and transport natural resources. By contrast, rich countries, especially America, now underfund capital goods, in an attempt to reduce public spending. This short-term skimping bodes ill for future growth.”—The Economist
“We desperately need enlightenment. For this reason alone, books such as Connectography should be welcomed.”—John Kornblum, Carnegie Europe
“Connectivity has become a basic human right, and gives everyone on the planet the opportunity to provide for their family and contribute to our shared future. Connectography charts the future of this connected world.”—Marc Andreessen, general partner, Andreessen Horowitz
“Connectography is ahead of the curve in seeing the battlefield of the future and the new kind of tug-of-war being waged on it. Parag Khanna’s scholarship and foresight are world-class. A must-read for the next president.”—Chuck Hagel, former U.S. secretary of defense
“Khanna’s answer to what geography will mean in the twenty-first century is the most compelling I have seen. . . . The world is changing, and Khanna is surely right not only that supply chains and cyberspace are taking on lives of their own but also that in the best of all possible worlds, inclusive functional geography will replace exclusive political geography, and the state and war will wither away. . . . I think Khanna is right that this is where the post-1989 trends seem to be taking us. . . . Connectography is one of the most stimulating and enjoyable books on the ongoing transformation of geography that anyone could ask for.”—Ian Morris, Stratfor
“Khanna’s content in genuinely innovative. He connects old dots in new ways, quite literally. He asks us to remap the world in terms of its connections rather than its borders. Connective infrastructure trumps separatist nationalism. The economics of supply lines moves into the foreground as politics and ideology fade into the background. . . . He is such a good writer—a master of the ringing cadence. . . . [Connectography includes] dozens of stunning maps.”—Jay Ogilvy, Stratfor
“To get where you want to go, it helps to have a good map. In Connectography, Parag Khanna surveys the economic, political, and technological landscape and lays out the case for why ‘competitive connectivity’—with cities and supply chains as the vital nodes—is the true arms race of the twenty-first century. This bold reframing is an exciting addition to our ongoing debate about geopolitics and the future of globalization.”—Dominic Barton, global managing director, McKinsey & Company
“This is probably the most global book ever written. It is intensely specific while remaining broad and wide. Its takeaway is that infrastructure is destiny: Follow the supply lines outlined in this book to see where the future flows.”—Kevin Kelly, co-founder, Wired
“Parag Khanna takes our knowledge of connectivity into virgin territory, providing an entire atlas on how old and new connections are reshaping our physical, social, and mental worlds. This is a deep and highly informative reflection on the meaning of a rapidly developing borderless world. Connectography proves why the past is no longer prologue to the future. There’s no better guide than Parag Khanna to show us all the possibilities of this new hyperconnected world.”—Mathew Burrows, director, Strategic Foresight Initiative at the Atlantic Council, and former counselor, U.S. National Intelligence Council
“Reading Connectography is a real adventure. The expert knowledge of Parag Khanna has produced a comprehensive and fascinating book anchored in geography but extending to every field that connects people around the globe. His deep analysis of communications, logistics, and many other globally critical areas is remarkable. The book is full of fascinating insights that we normally would not notice, and his writing reflects his extensive travel experience. His recommended sites and tools for mapping are the most comprehensive that I’ve ever seen. This book is an invaluable resource for anyone involved in business, science, arts, or any other field.”—Mark Mobius, executive chairman, Templeton Emerging Markets Group
“Connectography gives the reader an amazing new perspective on human society, bypassing the timeworn categories and frameworks we usually use. It shows us a view of our world as a living thing that really exists: the flows of people, ideas, and materials that constitute our constantly evolving reality. Connectography is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the future of humanity.”—Sandy Pentland, professor, MIT Media Lab
“Khanna’s new book is a brilliant exploration of supply-chain geopolitics and how the intersection of technology with geography is reshaping the global political economy. It is an intellectual tour de force that sparkles with original insights, stimulating assertions, little-known facts, and well-researched predictions. Highly rewarding reading for anyone seeking to understand the contemporary world order and why China’s ‘one belt, one road’ project is a winning strategy that outflanks the United States’ ‘rebalance to Asia’ by integrating all of Eurasia’s economies under Chinese auspices.”—Chas W. Freeman, Jr., chairman, U.S. China Policy Foundation, and former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia
“Khanna imagines a near-future in which infrastructural and economic connections supersede traditional geopolitical coordinates as the primary means of navigating our world. He makes a persuasive case: Connectography is as compelling and richly expressive as the ancient maps from which it draws its inspiration.”—Sir Martin Sorrell, founder and CEO, WPP
“From Lagos, Mumbai, Dubai, and Singapore to the Amazon, the Himalayas, the Arctic, and the Gobi desert steppe, Parag Khanna’s latest book provides an invaluable guide to the volatile, confusing worlds of early twenty-first-century geopolitics. A provocative remapping of contemporary capitalism based on planetary mega-infrastructures, intercontinental corridors of connectivity, and transnational supply chains rather than traditional political borders.”—Neil Brenner, director, Urban Theory Lab, Harvard University Graduate School of Design
“In high style, Parag Khanna reimagines the world through the lens of globally connected supply-chain networks. It is a world still fraught with perils—old and new—but one ever more likely to nurture peace and sustain progress.”—Professor John Arquilla, United States Naval Postgraduate School
“Today’s world has multiple geographies that do not fit the old geopolitics of states. In Connectography, Parag Khanna gives us not only new techniques for mapping but a whole new map—different, useful, and mesmerizing.”—Saskia Sassen, Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology, Columbia University
About the Author
Parag Khanna is a global strategist, world traveler, and bestselling author. He is a CNN Global Contributor and a Senior Research Fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. Khanna is the co-author of Hybrid Reality: Thriving in the Emerging Human-Technology Civilization and author of How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance and The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order. He has been a fellow at the New America Foundation and Brookings Institution, advised the U.S. National Intelligence Council, and worked in Iraq and Afghanistan as a senior geopolitical adviser to U.S. Special Operations Forces. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics. He serves on numerous governmental and corporate advisory boards and is a councilor of the American Geographical Society, a trustee of the New Cities Foundation, and a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a nuanced deeply stimulating book that makes it clear that China’s grand strategy of building infrastructure has beaten the US strategy of threatening everyone with a dysfunctional military that crushes hope and destroys wealth everywhere it goes; that connectivity (cell phones, the Internet, roads, high-speed rail, tunnels, bridges, and ferries) is the accelerator for wealth creation by the five billion poor that most Western states and corporations ignore; and it provides to me more surprises, more factoids I did not know, more insights – than any five to ten other books I have read over time.
At one point it occurred to me that in some ways the author is our generation’s successor to Alvin Toffler, Peter Drucker, and Robert Kaplan, combined. I really am deeply impressed, in part because the author’s insights come from years of crisscrossing the world and touch reality in a hands-on manner not achieved by any diplomatic, intelligence, commercial, media, or academic network in existence today; and in part because the book comes with 38 glorious color maps that are each alone worth the price of the book [an appendix points to 38 web sites that supplement the book and are a discovery journey of their own].
This is the best book – the deepest and the most useful – the author has produced to date. This is a book that should be read by every prime minister, president, senator, organizational chief – and by those who aspire to such positions. Many people publish content – few publish context – this book has both.
I have over ten pages of notes – below are just 4 quotes and 10 insights from among the hundred or so I took notes on – and strongly recommend this books for all libraries, all war colleges, all university overview courses on civilization and its malcontents.
QUOTE (175): “America’s nominal power is unsurpassed, but subtract for deterrence, distance, and competence, and its effective power is less formidable than appears on paper.”
QUOTE (199): “Eurasia represents two-thirds of the world’s population, economy, and trade, and that is before it genuinely fuses together into a connected mega-continent through voluminous durable infrastructures that will smooth and speed commerce.”
QUOTE (225): “No amount of ‘soft power’ can substitute for cutting a fair deal.”
QUOTE (287): “Guangzhou’s first lesson is the importance of administrative harmony. … The second lesson from the delta region’s evolution is leveraging openness.”
3/4 of the world’s population lacks basic infrastructure and utilities – this is the center of gravity going forward.
China has 2,000 commercial maritime vessels compared to 200 for the USA at the same time that Chinese high-speed rail is the 21st century alternative to air and road travel around the world.
China also has multiple sucking chest wounds, including the loss of half its rivers such that its population has one fifth the per capita water compared to the rest of the world; buildings that last fifteen years instead of thirty-five.
Devolution (smaller sovereignty/control zones) is inherently both democratic and efficient – we are migrating from sovereign space to admin space, in which hybrid governance where all non-government players have equal voice and vote) removes friction and increases flow.
Global warming is good for Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Russia – the Arctic is the next frontier, and ideally will be kept demilitarized - a priority championed by Norway.
Iran is the most connected nation in the Middle East.
Muslim violence in the Middle East is politically fostered and neither inherent in Islam nor ideological.
Russia, for lack of infrastructure, is losing swaths of its previously controlled territory, citizens, and resources to Europe in the East and China in the West; Brazil, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Russia are all under-performing for lack of investment in infrastructure (communications and transportation).
Special Economic Zones (SEZ) represent the unbundling and remixing of territory and resources, the relative demise of the nation-state in the face of superior agility at the city-state level.
Systemic change happens every couple of centuries – we are on the cusp of a global systemic revolution that will change every paradigm from economics to governance to lifestyle.
I have one caveat about this book, easily corrected in future printings and translations. The book comes with the most incomplete index I have ever encountered in a book of this quality and depth. If the book as a whole is a six-star work, the index is at best a 2 and barely so.
Readers interested in going into depth on any particular threat or policy (e.g. poverty as a threat or water as a policy) can find my 2000+ summary reviews online sorted by category at Phi Beta Iota Public Intelligence Blog.
Below are ten books I recommend as supporting complements to this great work.
Transforming the Dream: Ecologism and the Shaping of an Alternative American Vision
The Big Disconnect: Why The Internet Hasn't Transformed Politics (Yet)
Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action (Political Economy of Institutions and Decisions)
The Lessons of History
Homeland Earth : A Manifesto for the New Millennium (Advances in Systems Theory, Complexity and the Human Sciences)
A User's Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It
World 3.0: Global Prosperity and How to Achieve It
Grand Strategies: Literature, Statecraft, and World Order
God and Science: Coming Full Circle?
Ideas and Integrities: A Spontaneous Autobiographical Disclosure
ROBERT David STEELE Vivas
INTELLIGENCE for EARTH: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainability