June 16th, 2011
11:43 AM ET

Perfect Father's Day Gift: The Post-American World (Release 2.0)

Looking for the perfect Father's Day gift?

How about a book that can put today's rapidly changing world in lucid perspective?

Fareed's updated book, The Post-American World (Release 2.0), is the perfect gift for the intellectually curious father.

You can get it on your eReader, as an audiobook, in paperback and in hardcover.

Here's the description of the book from Fareed's publisher:

In his 2008 international bestseller The Post-American World, Fareed Zakaria wrote, “The future is already here.” If there were any doubts as to the veracity of that claim, the whirlwind events of the last three years have settled them.

Even Zakaria’s most forward-looking projections haven’t been able to keep pace with the acceleration of the “rise of the rest,” the indelible phrase he coined in 2008 to describe the economic and political ascendance of emerging powers such as Brazil, China, and India.

Now, in a fully revised and completely updated edition, The Post-American World (Release 2.0) Zakaria reviews the shifts of power he originally identified, marvels at how quickly they have occurred, and discusses the vast political and economic implications.

As he reminds us,

“In one month in 2008, India and Brazil were willing to frontally defy the United States at the Doha trade talks, Russia attacked and occupied parts of Georgia, and China hosted the most spectacular and expensive Olympic Games in history. Ten years ago, not one of the four would have been powerful or confident enough to act as it did.”

Furthermore, the financial crisis of 2008, instead of slowing or reversing this shift as one might expect, actually narrowed the gap between the West and the rest. While the United States and other wealthy economies have floundered through a prolonged period of slow growth, high unemployment, and crippling debt, the countries that constitute “the rest” have rebounded quickly.

India’s annual growth rate dropped to 5.7 percent in 2009, but jumped back up to 9.7 percent in 2010. China’s GDP growth has held steady at 9 percent or higher since the financial meltdown.

As a result, Zakaria points out, our world already appears post-American in many ways.

"The tallest building in the world is now in Dubai. The world’s richest man is Mexican, and its largest publicly traded corporation is Chinese. The world’s biggest plane is built in Russia and Ukraine, its leading refinery is in India, and its largest factories are all in China....The biggest movie industry, in terms of both movies made and tickets sold, is Bollywood, not Hollywood. Even shopping, America’s greatest sporting activity, has gone global. Of the top ten malls in the world, only one is in the United States; the world’s biggest is in Dongguan, China."

Coupled with such rapid economic growth is a surging sense of nationalism from emerging powers, along with a determination to shape their own future. The revolutions and protests sweeping through Iran, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Tunisia, Bahrain, Iraq and other countries in the Middle East, taking place without overt American intervention, are only the most recent examples of this phenomenon.

This presents America with a unique challenge. While we still live, militarily speaking, in a single superpower world, the distribution of power in other spheres – cultural, industrial, educational and financial – has already begun to shift.

As other countries grow in importance, the central role of the United States shrinks. No longer can America play the traditional part of dominating hegemon; it must become a more pragmatic, honest broker, sharing power as it attempts to build coalitions, reclaim its lost legitimacy, and continue to define the global agenda.

None of this will be easy for a country whose leaders have become accustomed to unquestioned dominance, and the obstacles facing the United States have only grown taller since the original publication of the book.

But the rise of the rest is the great story of our time, one that will shape the future of global power, and it has arrived earlier than anyone expected. Can America adapt to this new era, or will it become the only country that, in a globalized world of its own making, forgot to globalize itself?

You can read the full preface to the updated book here.

Buy The Post-American World (Release 2.0) online at Amazon.com.

soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. j. von hettlingen

    All these superlatives – the tallest building, the richest man, the biggest plane and largest factory etc are impressive and we human beings are prone to let ourselves dazzle by all these sights.
    The best philosophy is not to aim at breaking records, as there is always somebody else who wants to beat you. The most sensible thing to do is to maintain an overall high quality in general.
    In one field the U.S. can still maintain its preponderance – R&D.

    June 16, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  2. Onesmallvoice

    Unless the U.S. changes it's foreign policy, the outlook for the future of the world does appear quite grim indeed. We need to overcome our own arrogance and self righteousness and quit electing these right-wing freaks into office but that doesn't appear to be very likely any time soon, unfortunately.

    June 16, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  3. Tim Sultan

    Dr. Zakaria, I loved your first version of this book and am even more enthralled by 2.0. It's a policy roadmap for American politicans to make America #1 again, but sadly we don't have any leaders with the courage to follow your advice.

    June 17, 2011 at 12:18 am |
  4. An American Student in China

    Word to the wise the world's biggest mall is only 1% full. That means its 99% is empty. I hate when people use radical rhetoric to make situations seem unbelievable. Zakaria is just like Thomas Friedman. Both guys get the all star treatment when they are in China and India but they don't see the real problems. China is very big but it also has many hidden problems. Maybe he should get the opinion of an American student in China. I have seen what China is. I have lived along side them these past few months. I live in Shanghai and it’s a great city. But going outside the city or even in some parts in out edges one finds severe poverty. I have been to India one sees the same there. The only thing is that in India they know the problem exists. In China they just try to hide the problem. I have seen the poverty that is on the streets in both countries. Also side note to be a member of the middle class in China requires you to make over $4000 dollars a year. China still has a long way to go before it become a dominant power. Such large scale economic growth can not last forever.
    When writing a book report all of the facts. If you don't those who have been to such places will not trust you.

    June 17, 2011 at 1:19 am |
    • 15 year old from illinois

      That was extremely well said. Reading stuff like this sometimes worries me that in the America will be in poverty when i'm an adult. But you're comment made me feel better thank you

      June 18, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • kjpriest

      Those examples are purely symbolic of the "rise of the rest". It isn't to say that America is "crashing" and it isn't to ignore that the rest face massive problems in their rise. It is to say that the world is once again becoming multipolar, and the United States must be wary of its global image going forward. Further, I'm pretty sure that he is arguing that the US must play more of a role in diplomacy, economics, technology, etc. and less of a role militarily (like we had in Iran, Chile, and Iraq).

      June 19, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  5. T. Evans

    Most of these comparisons Fareed is using to describe how the US is losing its dominance are pretty irrelevant to what actually makes a super power. The US is much more finely honed and tailored than most of these countries in its political and democratic system, and corruption is far less rampant here than in places like India and certainly China.

    Honestly, there are a lot of people who think that just because another country has a nice economic spike it's the end of our's. That defeatist attitude is what brings about complacency. Americans can handle this. We've been through far, far worse.

    June 19, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
  6. Alex Yovorsky

    Its time to make some changes and/or updates to the U.S. Constitution. Below are some iems to be changed or added.
    1. Members of Congress & the House can server only 3 terms andwill get retired pay at 70 years old.
    2. Only U.S. Citizens that have paid into Social Security and MEDICARE can get any benefits.
    3. If the U.S.A. Government has to borrow any funds or monies, then no forieign aide monies can be given, only food or medical items may be given.

    June 19, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
  7. Michel

    Really disappointing to see what absurd generalizations are made in his Release 2.0! And I wast just beginning to like Fareed until I read these quotes not backed by reality at all. Yes, the other Tom Friedman:
    – The tallest building in the world is now in Dubai (a country that has nothing but desert; from which people were fleeing recently for lack of opportunities: and has a huge real estate overbuilding mess!!).
    – The world’s richest man is Mexican (from Mexico where 60% of the population live on less than $250 a month and milions are still living in poverty).
    – The world’s biggest plane is built in Russia ( and so what? What about the quality of this plane? Russian planes are notorious for crashing and for their terrible quality, e.g. Tupolev. Who would buy one of these when they can buy a Boeing or Airbus?)
    – Biggest movie industry, in terms of both movies made and tickets sold, is Bollywood, not Hollywood (thousands of trashy movies, albeit some good, and mostly made for the poor and illerate classes for a population of 1.1 BILLION! where 60% live in dire poverty).Of course, it is the biggest and so what?.
    – World’s biggest mall is in Dongguan, China!?– The South China Mall - biggest real estate joke in the world! Virtually empty!

    June 26, 2011 at 11:04 am |
  8. Jon

    C'mon Fareed
    you are a pundit not only for the digital population but recognising the importance of it
    Thus to not find this new update as an audiobook yet is disappointing
    Disappointing in that it is time sensitive stuff
    i know it talks of being available as an audiobook but searching or linking shows:
    – nothing at audible.com
    – only the old version at Amazon

    We eagerly await the audio book release of the 2.0 update

    July 7, 2011 at 12:28 am |
  9. globalcitizen

    Read the original version and will buy this one too.

    July 17, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  10. Muin

    I bought the first edition and asked many of my friends, family to buy it. No one asked for money back from me yet. I don't know if you are making compelling argument to buy 2.0. Bollywood makes more money than Hollywood. Well think about population explosion of india, bangladesh and pakistan, People of all these three countries are addicted to bollywood, People in this region used to like American culture but 9/11, Afghan and Iraq war kinda killed it all.

    September 5, 2011 at 1:59 am |
  11. WHR

    Same wine in a diferent bottle! Complete waste of money I just plain got duped. What gets me about this guy is his unabashed liberal agenda. He is a master salesman and says what the liberals want to hear. He lacks the integrity to stand up and say the truth as it is. A champion of his homeland and takes every opportunity to plug thier achievements. Not mentioning rampant corruption and economy that is thriving at our cost.

    November 13, 2011 at 11:17 am |
  12. Quasi-neutrum

    There should be an end to positivistic thinking! More, better, higher started at the beginning of the 19. century with improve of technics and science! But it ment also more greed, more exploitation, more speed in the way we live! In middle age they had to except that the world isn't flat. Some probably died even thinking, if they go further in one direction, they will surely fall down. Many people are frightened and fearful about crisis and imagine anarchy. But when people can't except change, writing books is a moderate way to try to change their mind. (Wished to read more of it with a free download, after a certain time that covered costs for the author and distribution.)

    November 20, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  13. david page

    I'm so happy that the world is fount so much better, I hope this means we can stop doling out all the money, that we don't have in the first place, to all the countries any more, and hope they don't forget where they got the help in the first place. I only hope we don't get to the point where we need that same kind of help, cause I don't think anyone would be there for us. I'm ashamed at myself for feeling this way but, I do.

    September 10, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
  14. Jerrica Cotto

    Listening to audio books is practical and it meets the busy lifestyle of contemporary people. You can tune in to your favorite books anytime anywhere, while you are walking, sh... The popularity of iPod and MP3 players has raised the marketplace of audiobooks in recent years. Some book publishers also believed that audio books could outsell paperback books or e-books one day. Indeed, this pattern is clear if you think about some great benefits of audio books over paperback books. ,

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    April 20, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
  15. iprojectmaster

    Great article

    April 4, 2019 at 6:06 am |

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