The Post-American World

by Fareed Zakaria

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What do you consider to be the greatest strengths of The Post-American World and what do you consider to be it's weaknesses? I am looking for a clear opinion and use facts from the book to back-up the answers.

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One of the things I have always liked about Zakaria, and about this book in particular, is that he truly comes across as the objective commentator.  It is not based on a political agenda, or doesn't seem to be, nor is it based on an economic one.  Zakaria has complex, yet eloquent, insights into the inner workings of international relations and economies, and can put that in such a way that relative laymen like myself can understand it.

I especially liked the sections on the book with suggestions on the use of American diplomacy vs. force.  He pretty convincingly argues that we should see India and China, not as allies or enemies, but as opportunities, emerging markets for American goods that could help America rebuild our economy into something more stable.  He mentions the aircraft industry as an example, where Boeing dominates the world market for commercial (and military) aircraft and emerging markets make up the lion's share of the newest orders for planes. 

I don't have a lot of criticisms for this work, though I do think Zakaria'sprescription for America's economic course in the next 25 years ignored a few very important variables, including military action by other countries and our related military commitments, the instability of the American debt issue, which could trump new economic progress, and Climate Change, which is already impacting economies around the globe.

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