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The Post American World by Fareed Zakaria

January 10th, 2009
The Post American World by Fareed Zakaria

The Post American World by Fareed Zakaria

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The Post American World

by Fareed Zakaria
Published in 2008

Key Takeaways

Don’t let the title fool you.  The first sentence of the book reads, “This is a book not about the decline of America but rather about the rise of everyone else.  It is about the great transformation taking place around the world, a transformation that, though often discussed, remains poorly understood.”  This is not a book about America’s decline, but a book about the emergence of the rest of the world and how America can best fit into the new world order.

I am a fan of Dennis Gartman’s The Gartman Letter.  The Gartman Letter is a widely read daily commentary on the global capital markets.  It is subscribed to by traders and investors globally. A few weeks ago Dennis extended, for only the fourth time in his letter’s 20+ years in existence, a new ‘must read’ book recommendation to his readers.  This recommendation was The Post American World by Fareed Zakaria.  His past recommendations have been: Reminiscences Of A Stock Operator by Jesse Livermore, both Market Wizards books by Jack Schwager, and By The Numbers by W. Stansbury Carnes and Stephen Slifer – all investing classics. So when he recommended The Post American World, I went right out and bought it.

Putting the book into the same vaunted category as Reminiscences Of A Stock Operator and Market Wizards is a stretch, but I liked the book and thought it was worthwhile.  My overall take is that the first five (of seven) chapters were mediocre, but that the last two chapters were excellent.

The problem with the first five chapters is that they are yet another rehash of the Brazil, Russia, India, China (BRIC) story.  Zakaria throws out all the predictable statistics and their implications: population size, economic growth, engineering talent, economic progress, opening of markets, widgets manufactured, outsourcing trends,  cultural dispositions, etc.  As someone who has heard the BRIC story ad nauseum since 2003, the chapters were largely recycled.  If you’re not familiar with the BRIC story, or want another rehash, then the first five chapters are very good.

The last two chapters of the book are where Zakaria’s book shines.  In the following post, I have summarized what I believe are the Key Takeaways of the book.  If you like what you see, I encourage you to buy the book.

(be sure to scroll through additional pages below)

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