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Customer reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
Obama Does Globalistan
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on September 30, 2009
Once again Pepe Escobar, one of the most astute observers of the world scene, signs here a reference guide on our crazy world.
Except for the format of the book (large and thin) it could be a travel phrasebook for the news navigator.
No litterature here, just different shades of light on facts, facts, facts.
As far as intelligence means making connections (inter lego), this is a pretty pure: you will not find detailed meeting reports in here, or day by day analysis of the Russia-Georgian war, but for the avid reader of news Pepe Escobar makes the connections between seemingly non-related events. His forte: looking at the same situation from the different points of view, backed up by a life devoted to meeting the actors to get their first hand interpretation.
For those who have read Pepe Escobar's Pipelinistan, the ceter part of this book is essentially an update on the subject - just great.
This is not a book for the casual reader. Actually it is best read close to Google, Wikipedia or CIA world fact book as Pepe does not detail much the facts beyond mentioning them.
Every paragraph, nearly each sentence is meaningful to a point that would render the reading tedious were it not for the humor and light style.
All in all one of the most enlightening books you could get on geopolitics / geostrategy provided you are alerady somewhat versed in the subject. Certainly not a Christmas present for your average 16 something Beyonce-loving niece.
For me a clear killer - a well deserved five stars.
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on April 18, 2009
Most of this slim volume just brings up to date the geopolitics of oil and gas that the author develops at length in the earlier book, Globalistan.

However, it's worth a read because the first section sums up vividly the reality confronting Obama. There's an itemization of what voters who backed him want from the Obama presidency: a dandy list handy for check-off come 2012.

Mr. Escobar points out that the Obama promise of "change" turned quickly to "experience" once he was elected and started to place people in positions.

The author asks at the beginning of the book if perhaps the Obama administration is going to be just a way to tamp down the rage of progressives to keep them from true change-making activism.

The book concludes with an extensive observation by David Harvey who says we will have to wait and see if Obama merely perpetuates a kinder, gentler version of the neo-liberalism of the past three decades.
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on April 11, 2014
Pepe Escobar's theory about the liquid war is extensively described here. A must-read book for those that are interested in the post-cold war foreign policy. "The world is dissolving into a liquid war". Liquid means oil LNG.
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on November 22, 2009
In Pepe Escobar I found a superb journalist, critic, and a cultural phenomenon in (almost surreal) geopolitical writing - every article another bombshell dropped on the tedious political correctness of our time, the shallow dignity of postmodern statecraft, and the ugly business of deception and show-politics. He is a brand name, too, with a readership of at least 100.000 people online. Much in this unique book is convincing and eye-opening. Yes, he is very provocative, his evaluations uncompromising in nature, and, sometimes, even prophetic. A recurrent theme in his books and articles seems to be "war" (be it military, economical, cultural, or just ideological etc.) or some form of "conspiracy theory", and presidents, supreme leaders, oligarchs and dictators are just goofy pieces on "Ground zero of a global jihad". "Welcome, comrade Maobama", "Liquid wars in Globalistan", 9/11, "Get Osama! Now! Or else...", Iran, Afghanistan, Iran, "Scorpions in a bottle", Eurabia... you name some dark spots in geopolitics and Escobar's sharp mind and "Roving Eye" is not very far, and certainly not shy; the whole drama of post-Cold-War 'Great Game', as he often uses slang, "just gets bigger".

His language may not be a language of blissful happiness, but the language of positive discontent (you may call it playful cynicism). It is also not the language of a conventional scholar either, but the language of a technocratic geek, confirmative an extremely flexible one, with a vast knowledge, a stupendous vocabulary, and a strong affinity for decorative details, places, names (incl. titles and job descriptions), abbreviations (TSAs, PSAs, IMF, INOC, IPI, TAP (now TAPI), ADB, BP, NATO... and this is only page 77/78), and clichés ('black gold', 'blue gold', 'Bush administration wasteland', 'Obamania', 'New Rome' etc...). Sentences like "But Iraqis were not fooled by the smoke and mirrors - nor by Big Oil hardball" or "It's as if the world was turning on its gyre as in a psychedelic kaleidoscope reviving modern history in high-speed", I found cartoonish but they will give you the general idea about style and spirit of his three books (so far) and most of hundreds of well-written articles in various opinion papers.

This book is essentially an essay of 116 pages considered a "supplement to" his 366-pages "Globistan". I guess it's fine reading it as a stand-alone, but I would recommend getting both of them - and reading some of his articles, too. If you like concise, idiosyncratic and thought-provoking books with loads of new word creations from an unusually talented writer on recent US foreign policy (aka 'New Rome') stunts in the Middle East and East-Asia, Pepe Escobar is worth your time and money and deserves a 5/5!
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Mr. Escobar likes to call himself The Roving Eye. This description might be off as it implies a wide, ambling view. There is nothing ambling about Escobar's stiletto-sharp observations, which, I'm sure make, many people in power nervous. In Obama Does Globalistan, the author, a frequent critic of U.S. foreign policy, reveals his optimism about Obama and gives the new president the benefit of the doubt. I wonder if Escobar plans to use this essay as a measuring benchmark in a year or so.

For anyone interested in foreign affairs and the U.S. position in the world, Obama Does Globalistan is a must read.
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on September 29, 2011
I started reading Pepe Escobar's vivid political analyses right after 9/11. His column prominently features on atimes which I often open first thing on a monday morning, whether when I am in Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo, or Boston. Pepe is a journalist maverick (and youtube ninja) with his own guerilla style, a stupendeous range of vocabulary, and a cartoonish way ("Obama", "is it the Messiah" or "Emperor Barack?") to depict very complex geopolitical strategy and introduce the who's who in all that mess in an easily understandable jargon: "Declaring war on the world is not a sensible way of dealing with Islamist terrorism." Always backed by quotations of those "Berkely/Chicago/Harvard crowd" in power, of course. To many, he is the Tariq Ali of Brazil, a resistance warrior against "Western Imperialism", born in a place, Brazil, that - it's bewildering - for some reason hardly ever features in a European newspaper. "Obama does Globalistan" is the companion to "Globalistan", both are essential a collection of some of Pepe's finest pieces on crazy "Obamanomics" from before the great meltdown of America in 2011, that let to the meltdown of America in 2011. Yes, it can get a bit cynical, but it is highly detailed and certainly an entertaining read for the left, and those who want to understand the left.
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on October 4, 2011
I haven't taken the time to read this thoroughly because its initial impressions have been so negative.

For one thing, the quality of the printing itself is baffling: large blocks of text are lightened for unknown reasons. The text itself is consists of all kinds of viewpoints and theories has has not taken the trouble to integrate. The result is schizophrenic. He has been too many places and met too many people, and this seems to have affected his mind.

I came to the conclusion long ago that Obama was nothing, but he insists on making him something. But what that something is, like everything else in this book, is baffling. I see I keep repeating the word baffling here, probably because that is how it basically affects me.

Why would anyone write such a mess?
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