Book Recommendations from Fareed Zakaria from CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS

Fareed Zakaria is host of CNN’s flagship foreign affairs show, a Washington Post columnist, a contributing editor for The Atlantic and a New York Times bestselling author. We plunge into the books that fuel his thoughts.
The Accidental Superpower
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The Accidental Superpower

by Peter Zeihan

About the book:  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. Near the end of the Second World War, the United States made a bold strategic gambit that rewired the international system. Empires were abolished and replaced by a global arrangement enforced by the U.S. Navy. With all the world's oceans safe for the first time in history, markets and resources were made available for everyone. Enemies became partners. We think of this system as normal-it is not. We live in an artificial world on borrowed time. In THE ACCIDENTAL SUPERPOWER, international strategist Peter Zeihan examines how the hard rules of geography are eroding the American commitment to free trade; how much of the planet is aging into a mass retirement that will enervate markets and capital supplies; and how, against all odds, it is the ever-ravenous American economy that-alone among the developed nations-is rapidly approaching energy independence. Combined, these factors are doing nothing less than overturning the global system and ushering in a new (dis)order. For most, that is a disaster-in-waiting, but not for the Americans. The shale revolution allows Americans to sidestep an increasingly dangerous energy market. Only the United States boasts a youth population large enough to escape the sucking maw of global aging. Most important, geography will matter more than ever in a de-globalizing world, and America's geography is simply sublime.

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Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China
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Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China

by Evan Osnos

About the book:  Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction finalistWinner of the 2014 National Book Award in nonfictionAn Economist Best Book of 2014Winner of the bronze medal for the Council on Foreign Relations’ 2015 Arthur Ross Book AwardA vibrant, colorful, and revelatory inner history of China during a moment of profound transformationFrom abroad, we often see China as a caricature: a nation of pragmatic plutocrats and ruthlessly dedicated students destined to rule the global economy-or an addled Goliath, riddled with corruption and on the edge of stagnation. What we don't see is how both powerful and ordinary people are remaking their lives as their country dramatically changes. As the Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker, Evan Osnos was on the ground in China for years, witness to profound political, economic, and cultural upheaval. In Age of Ambition, he describes the greatest collision taking place in that country: the clash between the rise of the individual and the Communist Party's struggle to retain control. He asks probing questions: Why does a government with more success lifting people from poverty than any civilization in history choose to put strict restraints on freedom of expression? Why do millions of young Chinese professionals-fluent in English and devoted to Western pop culture-consider themselves "angry youth," dedicated to resisting the West's influence? How are Chinese from all strata finding meaning after two decades of the relentless pursuit of wealth? Writing with great narrative verve and a keen sense of irony, Osnos follows the moving stories of everyday people and reveals life in the new China to be a battleground between aspiration and authoritarianism, in which only one can prevail.

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The Alliance
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The Alliance

by Reid Hoffman,Ben Casnocha,Chris Yeh

About the book:  Arguing that today's dynamic business environments have irrevocably transformed the employer-employee relationship, a guide for managers outlines win-win strategies that promote trust between workers and management through flexible, alliance-based working agreements. 100,000 first printing.

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America in Retreat
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America in Retreat

by Bret Stephens

About the book:  “Wise counsel for a constructive, tough-minded, and sensible foreign policy. Read and learn.” —GEORGE SHULTZ, U.S. Secretary of State, 1982–1989 The world is tipping into chaos. Why? In this acclaimed and influential book, Pulitzer Prize–winning columnist Bret Stephens shows how the retreat of American power, orchestrated by Barack Obama, has created the power vacuums now being filled by our enemies. From Vladimir Putin’s quest to restore the old czarist empire, to China’s efforts to dominate the South China Sea, to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, to ISIS’s dreams of an Islamic caliphate, we have entered an era in which our foes no longer fear us and our friends no longer trust us. With his stylistic flair and analytical brilliance, Stephens explains the ideological roots of Obama’s suspicions of American power. He demonstrates how a false belief in Ameri­can decline has led to a disastrous prescription of retreat, as if the cure for domestic weak­ness is international weakness. In a prophetic chapter, he warns of what the world could look like in 2019 if we do not change course. And he lays out the right formula for U.S. foreign policy—the same formula that brought order to our once crime-ridden streets. America in Retreat is shaping the greatest foreign policy debate of our decade.From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Bloodlands
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Bloodlands

by Timothy Snyder

About the book:  Americans call the Second World War “The Good War.” But before it even began, America's wartime ally Josef Stalin had killed millions of his own citizens—and kept killing them during and after the war. Before Hitler was finally defeated, he had murdered six million Jews and nearly as many other Europeans. At war's end, both the German and the Soviet killing sites fell behind the iron curtain, leaving the history of mass killing in darkness.Bloodlands is a new kind of European history, presenting the mass murders committed by the Nazi and Stalinist regimes as two aspects of a single history, in the time and place where they occurred: between Germany and Russia, when Hitler and Stalin both held power. Assiduously researched, deeply humane, and utterly definitive, Bloodlands will be required reading for anyone seeking to understand the central tragedy of modern history.

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Civilization
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Civilization

by Niall Ferguson

About the book:  Western civilization’s rise to global dominance is the single most important historical phenomenon of the past five centuries.How did the West overtake its Eastern rivals? And has the zenith of Western power now passed? Acclaimed historian Niall Ferguson argues that beginning in the fifteenth century, the West developed six powerful new concepts, or “killer applications”—competition, science, the rule of law, modern medicine, consumerism, and the work ethic—that the Rest lacked, allowing it to surge past all other competitors.Yet now, Ferguson shows how the Rest have downloaded the killer apps the West once monopolized, while the West has literally lost faith in itself. Chronicling the rise and fall of empires alongside clashes (and fusions) of civilizations, Civilization: The West and the Rest recasts world history with force and wit. Boldly argued and teeming with memorable characters, this is Ferguson at his very best.

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The Collapse
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The Collapse

by Mary Elise Sarotte

About the book:  ent the final collapse of the Cold War order.

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The Confidence Trap
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The Confidence Trap

by David Runciman

About the book:  Why do democracies keep lurching from success to failure? The current financial crisis is just the latest example of how things continue to go wrong, just when it looked like they were going right. In this wide-ranging, original, and compelling book, David Runciman tells the story of modern democracy through the history of moments of crisis, from the First World War to the economic crash of 2008. A global history with a special focus on the United States, The Confidence Trap examines how democracy survived threats ranging from the Great Depression to the Cuban missile crisis, and from Watergate to the collapse of Lehman Brothers. It also looks at the confusion and uncertainty created by unexpected victories, from the defeat of German autocracy in 1918 to the defeat of communism in 1989. Throughout, the book pays close attention to the politicians and thinkers who grappled with these crises: from Woodrow Wilson, Nehru, and Adenauer to Fukuyama and Obama. In The Confidence Trap, David Runciman shows that democracies are good at recovering from emergencies but bad at avoiding them. The lesson democracies tend to learn from their mistakes is that they can survive them—and that no crisis is as bad as it seems. Breeding complacency rather than wisdom, crises lead to the dangerous belief that democracies can muddle through anything—a confidence trap that may lead to a crisis that is just too big to escape, if it hasn't already. The most serious challenges confronting democracy today are debt, the war on terror, the rise of China, and climate change. If democracy is to survive them, it must figure out a way to break the confidence trap.

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Crazy is a Compliment
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Crazy is a Compliment

by Linda Rottenberg

About the book:  These days taking chances isn’t just for college dropouts in hoodies. We all need to be nimble, adaptive, daring—and maybe even a little crazy—or risk being left behind.But how do you take smart risks without risking it all? That’s Linda Rottenberg’s expertise. As the cofounder and CEO of Endeavor, the world’s leading organization dedicated to supporting fast-growing entrepreneurs, she’s spent the last two decades helping innovators think bold and execute smart.Now Rottenberg draws on her unrivaled experience to show you the proven techniques to achieve your dreams. Crazy Is a Compliment combines inspiring stories, original research, and practical advice to create a road map for getting started and going bigger.

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The End of History and the Last Man
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The End of History and the Last Man

by Francis Fukuyama

About the book:  Ever since its first publication in 1992, The End of History and the Last Man has provoked controversy and debate. Francis Fukuyama's prescient analysis of religious fundamentalism, politics, scientific progress, ethical codes, and war is as essential for a world fighting fundamentalist terrorists as it was for the end of the Cold War. Now updated with a new afterword, The End of History and the Last Man is a modern classic.Ever since its first publication in 1992, The End of History and the Last Man has provoked controversy and debate. Francis Fukuyama's prescient analysis of religious fundamentalism, politics, scientific progress, ethical codes, and war is as essential for a world fighting fundamentalist terrorists as it was for the end of the Cold War. Now updated with a new afterword, The End of History and the Last Man is a modern classic.

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