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The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being In Charge Isn't What It Used to Be Paperback – 11 Mar 2014

4.3 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; Reprint edition (11 Mar. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465065694
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465065691
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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"
""The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being in Charge Isn't What It Used to Be" is a wide-ranging, stimulating romp through the last 20 years or so in search of a universal explanation for the unraveling of the well-ordered, predictable postwar world of the late 20th century."
"--National Catholic Reporter"
"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

"New York Times" Bestseller
"Facebook" Year of Books Pick
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 typespolitical, corporate, military, religious, unionface 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"
"The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being in Charge Isn't What It Used to Be" is a wide-ranging, stimulating romp through the last 20 years or so in search of a universal explanation for the unraveling of the well-ordered, predictable postwar world of the late 20th century.
"National Catholic Reporter"
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 poweror want itshould read this book.
Fernando Henrique Cardoso
Moises Naim s extraordinary new book will be of great interest to all those in leadership positionsbusiness 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 lostand 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. He served as editor in chief of Foreign Policy, as Venezuela's trade minister, and as executive director of the World Bank.


Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you ignore the headline grabbing title, a more accurate description might be the hyper (dash) diffusion of power, its ephemerality and the gridlock metastasis that accompanies 'vetocracies' (Fukuyama). But I doubt this would carry the sound bite as well...

A rhetorical device used by Naim, an ex-development minister in the Venezuelan government, is the line that "things are not what they used to be", mostly observed through his conversations with other world leaders during his time in office. This raises a question in my mind: were the expectations of Naim and his peers ever valid, or in the immortal words of Morrissey, "Oh has the world changed, or have I changed?". A strong case is made for the intertwined behemoth worlds of centralised modern organisations (bureaucracies) and governments constrained by a "golden straight-jacket of laissez faire rules (so investors don't stampede away) and a spectrum of "politics shrinking to tight parameters". We are living in an age where traditional parties are fragmented, and distinguished, not ideologically, but by charismatic personalities and media prowess. A leading contender for President of the most powerful nation on the planet is a self-proclaimed business mogul with no credible governmental experience of policy making. In explaining why the US may have reached this critical juncture, The End Of Power (2013) proves remarkably prescient, and offers a compelling set of conclusions.

But let's start with the real essence of Naim's analysis. What is power?
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