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The Future Hardcover – 29 Jan 2013

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 592 pages
  • Publisher: WH Allen (29 Jan. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753540487
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753540480
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.7 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 310,589 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"If you are concerned about the massive changes the world is just heading into, then you should read this book. If you aren't, then you must read it." (Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web)

"This is a great book. From political policy and economics to science and the most thorny ethical issues, Al Gore has stated the human condition forthrightly, fearlessly, and in easily understood language. And said what must be done. I asked myself halfway through who else could have written a book of this magnitude. The only answer I could imagine was Jefferson." (E.O. Wilson, Harvard University, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize)

"I'm a pro-growth supply-side economist, so my admiration for Al Gore may seem like an oxymoron. It's not. This book is amazingly rich in wisdom, practicality, and insight. Al Gore has a portfolio that warrants credibility and is an accomplished polymath who transcends ideology while turning our attention to big issues, big ideas, and big solutions. The Future frames the discussion whether you're conservative, agnostic, or liberal. It's a fascinating deep read." (Arthur B. Laffer, Ph.D.)

"Applying a formidable mix of history, science and common experience, Gore has produced a luminously intelligent analysis that is packed with arresting ideas and facts. … Summarising this rich and ambitious book in any detail is impossible. You simply have no alternative to reading it." (The Guardian)

"Even these devotees of the long view will have much to learn from Gore's book, a tour de force that no government can afford to ignore." (The Guardian)

Book Description

The Nobel Prize-winning and bestselling author of An Inconvenient Truth and The Assault on Reason, returns with a new book

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A. D. Thibeault on 1 Feb. 2013
Format: Hardcover
*A full executive summary of this book is available at newbooksinbrief dot com.

Our world is becoming increasingly integrated and complex, and changing faster and faster. Out of the morass of elements involved here, Al Gore identifies 6 themes or factors that are emerging as the major drivers of change. The factors are 1) Work: the movement of labor from West to East (outsourcing); and, at the same time, a shift towards much more automation (robosourcing); 2) Communications: the rise of the internet that has led to a wild proliferation of information, and the ability of the world's population to instantly connect with one another for a host of purposes--and the increasing reach of the internet from the developed to the developing world; 3) Power: the shifting of power from West to East; and, at the same time, the shifting of power from national governments to smaller players, such as businesses and corporations, but also rogue players, such as guerrilla and terror organizations; 4) Demographics: the enormous increase in the world's population, and the movement of peoples both within and across national borders (as the result of numerous factors); 5) Biotechnology: the increasing manipulation of DNA to produce not only new organisms with novel features, but new materials and fuels as well, and 6) Climate Change: the increase in world temperatures caused by the continuing build-up of CO2, as well as the numerous other climate effects that this entails.

While several of these drivers of change have the potential to bring great benefits to the world's people, all are fraught with potential dangers, and it is this that is Gore's focus in the book. This, as well as Gore's own advice as to how best to deal with the potential dangers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sally Birtwell on 10 May 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one book that really spells out what the future will have in store for us unless we sit up, take notice and then act to do everything we can to awaken our friends and colleagues to the danger we are facing. Al Gore explains how and why we are doing things that are against our our own and the planets interests and how we really all have to get on board to persuade governments and influential people to change the systems that are keeping this destructive way of being. But he's not just saying the same old stuff, his information is rivetting and I couldn't put the book down. I, for one, want to be able to answer my grandchildren when they ask "what were you doing while the earth was burning" - if we are all lucky enough to live that long.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jean Michel on 3 May 2013
Format: Hardcover
Al Gore's `The Future' is an interesting and sometimes provocative book. However, it falls short of its potential due to a number of reasons, which is why I have only given it 3 stars.

Firstly, it is too broad in its scope: the book tries to encompass a very wide range of future trends and potential developments, ranging through political and economic changes; life sciences; geo-political changes; climate change and many others. Each is a worthy topic for a book in its own right. However, if Gore intended to be able to knit the various themes together, he fails significantly.

Secondly, although packed with up to date references and vignettes, at times parts of the book tended to read like a set of bullet points, (without the bullets) which lacked a sound or well-articulated line of reasoning. It was as if in his long experience in exploring and discussing the issues with various people in the fields covered by the book, Al Gore sat down with his `Mind-Mapping' software and let out a stream of consciousness, which was then converted into a Mind-Map to front each of his chapters. Then he appears to have started writing about all the topics on his Mind-Map, with little concern for explaining why or how they linked to his overall argument. As a result, the writing - although quite fluid - lacks an intellectual rigour.

Thirdly, as has been mentioned by another commentator on this site who allotted 1 star to the book, Al Gore cannot resist blowing his own trumpet, but more annoyingly, he seems incapable of seeing a world wherein other nations have and continue to make major contributions to his pet theme of `global leadership.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By CopenhagenCathy on 19 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Al Gore has done an impressive job of connecting the dots - tracking and explaining the decisions and situations that have brought us where we are - and extrapolating a peek into The Future as a result. It is not a particularly easy read, but it is well worth the trouble. It's packed with good info and arguments about our road ahead. Go get it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ruben on 1 Aug. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A well thought and thoroughly researched and well organised book that gives an excellent political take on the challenges ahead. Easy to follow and well explained with a good pace it is definetly an important read, highly recommended!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Poppy Hall on 25 Feb. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a powerful, educative and readable book about the most important issue of our time: what sort of world we are leaving to our chikdren and grandchildren.
Gore marshals an impressive amount of research and covers the ground with care and a masterful attention to the crucial details, backed up by footnotes that make you want to also read the men and women (mostly scientists) he quotes as sources. His style is fluid and thoughtful. The result can't be anything other than depressing, for the most part. Yet Gore is careful to emphasise the positive where possible, which I guess is a kind of duty, when you are waving a warning flag. He doesn't shy away from issues like population, which have been side-stepped in the past. Interestingly, Obama is barely mentioned - though the book pre-dates his most recent climate statements. All politicians and educators around the world should read this.
And anybody working in the fossil fuel industry. (As if.)
The book also made me very angry. That's a good thing.
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