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End of Power Hardcover – 21 Mar 2013

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books (21 Mar. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465031560
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465031566
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 328,607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Who is in charge? This book says nobody. The monopolies of coercion that characterised states, the potency of advanced militaries, the media organisations that controlled information, and the religious institutions that defined orthodoxy are all losing control. Readers may disagree; they will be provoked." -- Financial Times, Best of the Year "It's not just that power shifts from one country to another, from one political party to another, from one business model to another, Naim argues; it's this: "Power is decaying." -- Gordon M. Goldstein, Washington Post, Notable Non-Fiction Book of the Year "A remarkable new book by the remarkable Moises Naim, the former editor of Foreign Policy. It was recommended to me by former president Bill Clinton during a brief conversation on the situation in Egypt." --Richard Cohen, Washington Post "In his new book called The End of Power, Moises Naim goes so far as to say that power is actually decaying. I actually find the argument rather persuasive." --General Martin Dempsey-Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff "I particularly enjoyed The End of Power by Moises Naim... It is particularly relevant for big institutions like GE." --Jeff Immelt, CEO, GE "[An] altogether mind-blowing and happily convincing treatise about how 'power is becoming more feeble, transient, and constrained.'" --Nick Gillespie, Barron's "Moises Naim's The End of Power offers a cautionary tale to would-be Lincolns in the modern era. Naim is a courageous writer who seeks to dissect big subjects in new ways. At a time when critics of overreaching governments, big banks, media moguls and concentrated wealth decry the power of the '1%,' Mr. Naim argues that leaders of all types--political, corporate, military, religious, union--face bigger, more complex problems with weaker hands than in the past." --Wall Street Journal "Analytically sophisticated...[a] highly original, inter-disciplinary meditation on the degeneration of international power... The End of Power makes a truly important contribution, persuasively portraying a compelling dynamic of change cutting across multiple game-boards of the global power matrix." --Washington Post "This fascinating book...should provoke a debate about how to govern the world when more and more people are in charge." --Foreign Affairs "Naim produces a fascinating account of the way states, corporations and traditional interest groups are finding it harder to defend their redoubts... (He) makes his case with eloquence." --Financial Times "A timely and timeless book." --Booklist "Having served as editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy and the executive director of the World Bank, Naim knows better than most what power on a global scale looks like... [A] timely, insightful, and eloquent message." --Publishers Weekly, Starred Review "Foreign Policy editor-in-chief Naim argues that global institutions of power are losing their ability to command respect. Whether considering institutions of government, military, religion or business, the author believes their power to be in the process of decaying... A data-packed, intriguing analysis." --Kirkus Reviews "The End of Power will change the way you read the news, the way you think about politics, and the way you look at the world." --William Jefferson Clinton "In my own experience as president of Brazil I observed first hand many of the trends that Naim identifies in this book, but he describes them in a way that is as original as it is delightful to read. All those who have power--or want it--should read this book." --Fernando Henrique Cardoso "Moises Naim's extraordinary new book will be of great interest to all those in leadership positions--business executives, politicians, military officers, social activists and even religious leaders. Readers will gain a new understanding of why power has become easier to acquire and harder to exercise. The End of Power will spark intense and important debate worldwide." --George Soros "After you read The End of Power you will see the world through different eyes. Moises Naim provides a compelling and original perspective on the surprising new ways power is acquired, used, and lost--and how these changes affect our daily lives." --Arianna Huffington "Moises Naim is one of the most trenchant observers of the global scene. In The End of Power, he offers a fascinating new perspective on why the powerful face more challenges than ever. Probing into the shifting nature of power across a broad range of human endeavors, from business to politics to the military, Naim makes eye-opening connections between phenomena not usually linked, and forces us to re-think both how our world has changed and how we need to respond." --Francis Fukuyama

About the Author

Moises Naim is a scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and an internationally syndicated columnist. For over a decade he was the editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy magazine and under his leadership, the magazine was re-launched, won the National Magazine award for General Excellence three times and became one of the world's most influential publications in international affairs. Naim also served as Venezuela's Minister of Industry and Trade and as executive director of the World Bank. Naim holds a PhD from MIT and lives in Washington, DC.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Athan TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 9 Sept. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The End of Power starts like dynamite.

Moises Naim, an extremely well-respected and well-informed author (he thanks everybody who's anybody in the acknowledgments except perhaps for David Beckham) is truly on fire to begin with. He starts the book by telling you what power is. He defines it as the ability to make others do what you want them to do. It's not about the size of your army or your nuclear stockpile or your advertising budget. It's the ability to get your way.

Next, he sets up a matrix, Mc Kinsey style. Two types of power, hard and soft. And each breaks down in two. So hard power breaks down to coercion and bribery. Soft power breaks down to code and persuasion. So "if you don't eat your broccoli you don't get to play with Lego" as well as "if you don't eat your broccoli you'll have a spanking" are both coercion. On the other hand "if you eat your broccoli you can then have ice cream" is bribery. That's hard power, because I have ways to make you change your mind. On the other hand if the pope says you should practice abstinence, that's soft power, he can't do much to keep you chaste. He sets a moral code and that's that. Similarly, if Patek Philippe buy the back cover of the Economist every week and your wife asks you for a diamond-crusted watch (or you decide to buy a little something for the next generation) that's persuasion, but there's nothing in it for you directly.

And of course power is seldom on one vector only. The pope, for example, may be going beyond code. If you don't follow his rules, it may later cost you salvation. And if you do, you might go to heaven. So you could argue it's 70% code, 15% coercion and 15% bribery. You get the idea.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author, Naim, started to reflect on the nature of power when he was a government Minister in Venezuela and found he couldn't get much done that he wanted to do. All appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, he in fact had very little power. This is of course a common finding of politicians everywhere today, and reflecting on why this is the case leads to a very interesting set of reflections on politics, but also military power and power in the corporate and not for profit sectors.

Support for traditional political parties island has for some time in general been falling in the UK - and in many countries. And in traditional parties it's much harder for the party machine to call the shots - the Tea Party, for example, can play havoc with Republican candidate selections, there are more sources of funding, and increasingly there are primaries for example by the Left in recent French Presidential selections, leading to candidate the party hierarchy would not have selected left to its own devices.

And this is part of a trend, argues Naim. Militarily, it's harder to win wars because you have a big army these days. The cost of effective munitions is falling (IEDs, drones and look at the effectiveness of pirates etc). And the speed of changes in the corporate world is faster than ever, with new entrants finding it easier than ever to establish themselves, at least in significant niche markets. And while the US may be the only world 'hegemony' these days, there are more constraints on the power of a hegemony than there used to be (or so, Naim says, the Wikileaks material makes clear as the US tries in vain to impose its will on the world).
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Lloyd on 1 Nov. 2014
Format: Hardcover
Argues that power today is easier to acquire, harder to use, and easier to lose, and that the implications of this development are far reaching, both corporately and globally, as well as personally. Important issues that don’t get the attention they deserve but (surprising?) the relationship between power and responsibility was not more extensively discussed. Also the lengthy (over 30 subheadings) index for power, did not include the key element ‘abuse of’. In many ways, the reason for ‘The End of Power’ is simple, there has been an epidemic of its abuse.
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The book 'The End of Power' is an attempt to explain why it is so hard to get things done in a world where, paradoxically, we have more productivity-enhancing technology than ever before. The author's thesis is that power is dispersing among actors in just about every sphere one can imagine - politics, business, war, to name but a few. He ascribes this dispersal to three revolutions, which he terms (alliteratively) 'More', 'Mobility' and 'Mentality', all reasonably self explanatory.

The book is not an analytical tome, nor does it make robust prescriptions as to what course one might take in a world where power is dispersed or decayed. It is more of a description of vignettes and supporting evidence for the author's view on the the evolution of power, roughly marshalled by sphere. For all that, it is immensely readable and enjoyable. Just don't expect instructions on what to do.
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By Dan on 1 Feb. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Read this as was the first book from 'a year of book's' book club

Well worth the read. It's a hard read at times and I've found more new words in this book than many others but maybe I don't know many bbc words...

Excellent insight into the changing powers of the bbc world.
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