The accidental superpower The next generation of American preeminence and the coming global disorder

Peter Zeihan

Book - 2014

"In the bestselling tradition of The World Is Flat and The Next 100 Years, THE ACCIDENTAL SUPERPOWER will be a much discussed, contrarian and eye-opening assessment of American power. In THE ACCIDENTAL SUPERPOWER international strategist Peter Zeihan examines how geography, combined with demography and energy independence, will pave the way for one of the great turning points in history, and one in which America reasserts its global dominance. No other country has a greater network of internal waterways, a greater command of deepwater navigation, or a firmer hold on industrialization technologies than America. Zeihan argues that the future is undoubtedly bright for America, the only country with enough young adults to fill the capital-...generating void that will be left behind by 2030. THE ACCIDENTAL SUPERPOWER also explores shale oil and its surprising key role in America's move towards energy independence and how it will shape (and is already shaping) American life for the next fifty years"--

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2nd Floor 327.73/Zeihan Due Dec 15, 2023
New York : Twelve 2014.
Main Author
Peter Zeihan (-)
First edition
Item Description
Includes index.
Physical Description
xi, 371 pages : illustration, maps ; 24 cm
  • The world we think we know
  • Egypt: the art of getting from here to there
  • Technological revolutions: deepwater navigationand industrialization
  • Enter the accidental superpower
  • Buying off geopolitics
  • The demographic roller coaster
  • The rise of shale
  • The coming international disorder
  • Partners
  • Players
  • History returns to Europe
  • The Alberta question
  • The North American drug war
  • The China wars
  • Migration and terrorism
  • Epilogue: the American age
  • Appendix I: no fear: climate change
  • Appendix II: demography and trade.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

More by luck than by design, America will prosper in the coming decades while the world goes to hell, according to this eye-opening, contrarian survey of geopolitics. Geopolitical analyst Zeihan bases his predictions on "accidental" factors of the U.S.'s terrain (navigable rivers and rich farmland), resources (abundant shale gas and oil), demography (a relatively young, vigorous population), location (oceans that guard against invasion), and economics (vast consumer markets and cheap capital). The rest of the globe, he argues, will suffer from aging populations, dwindling resources, and the lack of a stable modern-day equivalent to the post-WWII Bretton Woods regime, which fostered free trade, protected sea lanes, and served the world's export market; the collapse of the international order will include the collapse of China, the breakup of Canada, and war in Europe. Zeihan's freewheeling, very readable analyses draw on historical examples, from ancient Egypt to modern Denmark, and a wealth of statistics, packaged with interesting maps and graphs. His generalizations can seem oversimplified, and his prognostications eccentric, such as the prediction that a "wave of young Uzbeks will wash asunder all foolish enough to stand in their way." Still, Zeihan's provocative take on how land, climate, energy, and population determine wealth and power makes for a stimulating challenge to conventional wisdom. Agent: Jud Laghi, Jud Laghi Agency. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Geopolitics, the influence of geography on nations, made the United States great and will keep it there, writes the author of this ingenious, optimistic overview of America's superpower status. Zeihan, founder of Zeihan on Geopolitics, adds that America hit the jackpot, geopolitically speaking, inheriting "the best lands in the world for a very low price in terms of blood, treasure, and time." He downplays the claim that American power is declining, pointing out that in 1945, we produced one quarter of the world's gross domestic product and spent as much on the military and controlled as much naval tonnage at the rest of the world combined. The change in 2014: zero. But some things are changing. Resources are diminishing, energy prices are rising, and demographics are inverting. Baby boomers are now retiring to collect benefits paid for by a shrinking number of younger, working taxpayers. The majority of industrialized nations face financial disaster, except America, which faces only inconvenience. Thanks to fracking, oil and gas production are skyrocketing, and America could be energy independent in five years. Thanks to immigration and vast numbers of child-friendly single-family houses, Americans remain younger than nearly every major culture. Within 30 years, Zeihan predicts, some nations (Greece, Libya, Yemen) will collapse, others (Brazil, India, Canada) will shrink, some (Britain, France, Sweden) will muddle through, and a few (Russia, Germany, Japan, Turkey) will become aggressive. Self-sufficient in food and energy, America will turn inward, reverting to the role it played before World War II: a global power without global interests. Historical prognostication has a dismal record, but readers will find it difficult to put down this fascinating addition to the "rise and fall of nations" genre. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.