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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read to get the hang of what is to come our way
Its undoutedly the best book to read explaining the role of economy in the shaping of world events. It also predicts the rise of new powers in the world and the reason behind their rise and power.
Published on 9 Feb 2002

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3.0 out of 5 stars its ok
As much as this is Paul Kennedy trying to redeem himself for the end of "the Rise and Fall of the Great Powers" I would rather he concentrated more on history and less on prediction.
Published on 13 July 2011 by D. J. Andrews


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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read to get the hang of what is to come our way, 9 Feb 2002
By A Customer
Its undoutedly the best book to read explaining the role of economy in the shaping of world events. It also predicts the rise of new powers in the world and the reason behind their rise and power.
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3.0 out of 5 stars its ok, 13 July 2011
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D. J. Andrews "David Andrews" (Keele, UK) - See all my reviews
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As much as this is Paul Kennedy trying to redeem himself for the end of "the Rise and Fall of the Great Powers" I would rather he concentrated more on history and less on prediction.
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5.0 out of 5 stars More essential reading from the author of `The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers', 10 Mar 2011
There are a number of similar books which attempt to provide a geopolitical overview. None are as scholarly and authoritative as Paul Kennedy's, published to anticipate the millenium, and still an interesting read.

The opening part of the book is divided into his major themes.
Firstly, population growth. As the human race's survival skillsets advance, so does its population. The world is never far from a global food shortage, though biotechnology has so far kept up. What hasn't kept up, as we know, is the ability to reduce environmental damage. Pollution, water depletion, ozone layer thinning, overcrowding, global warming, etc, etc. (2 degrees celsius doesn't sound much until you hear that a nine degrees shift could trigger another ice age).
Secondly, the relative decline of the West, as the developing world's catches up.
Thirdly, globalisation, migration, and the relative decline in importance of the nation-state.
Fourthly, automation, IT and robotics; and finally, the vital role of increased education at all levels.

After chapters on these topics, he considers specific national issues in more detail. These summaries , written twenty-years ago, now serve as useful historical contexts.
The key issues he cites for the USA are i) an excess of low-skill immigration, and ii)even then, excessive debt.
For Europe, he sees the priority as a political balancing act: on the one hand, opportunities for a harmonised, free trading, economically stable bloc; on the other, the reality of cultural differences, national interests, and protectionism.
Both China and India's prority issue twenty years ago was how to avoid a Malthusian disaster: now we can witness the success of China's one-child policy, and, to a lesser extent, the reduction in India's fertility rate.
Japan - the powerhouse two decades ago - nevetheless faced at that time some key problems: the potentially unsustainable social costs of its worth ethic; possible stock and property bubbles; and ageing demographics. All three have contributed to Japan's subsequent relative stagnation.
The key themes of developing Southern Asia he cites as cheap labour, strong work ethic, a culture of saving, and low value currencies favouring exports. Latin America: despite economic and political improvements following the disastrous inflation-and debt-ridden 80's, some key problems remain : reliance on commodities, bloated public sectors, and high population growth. His overview of Africa contains a similar narrative as countries edge away from poverty, corruption and instability.
His assessment of the ex-USSR nations, re-read twenty years later, highlights how successfully Eastern Europe has transformed itself.

A thorough, balanced, overarching, Millenial Worldview, still relevant today.
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Preparing for the 21st Century
Preparing for the 21st Century by Paul Kennedy (Paperback - 18 Mar 1993)
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