Saturday, January 24, 2009

What I Just Read: The Post-American World

Another day, another book. On the heals of yesterdays triumphant finish of Post Office I have accomplished another such glorious feet by finishing The Post-American World by Fareed Zakaria.

Now this book was not a choice for pleasure but rather a choice made by the illustrious Prof Portz the humble leader of my Senior Capstone class. The choice was made as a sort of wrap up of the International Relations portion of our Political Science studies. A good choice, if I were graduating a year ago.

In his book Mr. Zakaria breaks down the status of today's world and where he thinks it will go. His view of the future is nothing new; a world still dominated by the US but in a less and less unipolar world, with ascension of India and China to the world stage, the consolidation of Europe, and increasing power to energy rich states like Canada, Russia and The Middle East. All well and good and he even goes into great detail about why this is going to happen, fairly convincing when I channel my 20 year old self.

The problem is, we don't live in that world anymore. We no longer live in a world where China will continue financing US debt, where the US has decades to adapt to the new world order, where a booming first world economy is lifting the developing nations. This is a great book, well researched and well written but it is the wrong book for this class.

I guess that is the problem with most Political Science books, they exist in a world where policy and theory react to real world events on a daily basis, a world where not even this mornings New York Times is correct anymore. This is a digital world and I don't know if professors really get that yet.

As for what I will be reading next (in addition to Lennon and LOTF) I have been assigned Fixing Failed States by Ashraf Ghani and Clare Lockhart for Capstone, which I will dive into Monday night (expect a blog post about it that evening). As for pleasure it's either going to be White Tiger or Women. The problem is I really want to start Women but in order to do so I need to wait until Sunday when I go to work to buy it. Where as White Tiger is within arms reach at the moment. I'm going to start White Tiger tonight I think but if it doesn't grab me by work Sunday I will forgo it for Women. Check back Sunday night for a post about one or the other.

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