Mark Zuckerberg's inaugural pick for his "Year of Books" challenge, The End of Power updates the very notion of power for the 21st century.
Power, we know, is shifting: From West to East and North to South, from presidential palaces to public squares, from once formidable corporate behemoths to nimble startups and, slowly but surely, from men to women. But power is not merely dispersing; it is also decaying. Those in power today are more constrained in what they can do with it and more at risk of losing it than ever before.
In The End of Power, award-winning columnist and former Foreign Policy editor Moisés Naím illuminates the struggle between once-dominant megaplayers and the new micropowers challenging them in every field of human endeavor. Drawing on provocative, original research, Naím shows how the antiestablishment drive of micropowers can topple tyrants, dislodge monopolies, and open remarkable new opportunities, but it can also lead to chaos and paralysis. Naím deftly covers the seismic changes underway in business, religion, education, within families, and in all matters of war and peace. Examples abound in all walks of life: In 1977, eighty-nine countries were ruled by autocrats while today more than half the world’s population lives in democracies. CEO’s are more constrained and have shorter tenures than their predecessors. Modern tools of war, cheaper and more accessible, make it possible for groups like Hezbollah to afford their own drones. In the second half of 2010, the top ten hedge funds earned more than the world’s largest six banks combined.
Those in power retain it by erecting powerful barriers to keep challengers at bay. Today, insurgent forces dismantle those barriers more quickly and easily than ever, only to find that they themselves become vulnerable in the process. In this accessible and captivating book, Naím offers a revolutionary look at the inevitable end of powerand shows how it will change your world.
About the Author
Moises Naim is a scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and an internationally syndicated columnist. He served as editor in chief of Foreign Policy, as Venezuela's trade minister, and as executive director of the World Bank.
"[An] altogether mind-blowing and happily convincing treatise about how 'power is becoming more feeble, transient, and constrained.'" --Nick Gillespie, Barron's "Moises Naim's The End of Power offers a cautionary tale to would-be Lincolns in the modern era. Naim is a courageous writer who seeks to dissect big subjects in new ways. At a time when critics of overreaching governments, big banks, media moguls and concentrated wealth decry the power of the '1%,' Mr. Naim argues that leaders of all types--political, corporate, military, religious, union--face bigger, more complex problems with weaker hands than in the past." --Wall Street Journal "Analytically sophisticated...[a] highly original, inter-disciplinary meditation on the degeneration of international power... The End of Power makes a truly important contribution, persuasively portraying a compelling dynamic of change cutting across multiple game-boards of the global power matrix." --Washington Post "This fascinating book...should provoke a debate about how to govern the world when more and more people are in charge." --Foreign Affairs "The End of Power will change the way you read the news, the way you think about politics, and the way you look at the world." --William Jefferson Clinton "In my own experience as president of Brazil I observed first hand many of the trends that Naim identifies in this book, but he describes them in a way that is as original as it is delightful to read. All those who have power--or want it--should read this book." --Fernando Henrique Cardoso "Moises Naim's extraordinary new book will be of great interest to all those in leadership positions--business executives, politicians, military officers, social activists and even religious leaders. Readers will gain a new understanding of why power has become easier to acquire and harder to exercise. The End of Power will spark intense and important debate worldwide." --George Soros "After you read The End of Power you will see the world through different eyes. Moises Naim provides a compelling and original perspective on the surprising new ways power is acquired, used, and lost--and how these changes affect our daily lives." --Arianna Huffington "Naim produces a fascinating account of the way states, corporations and traditional interest groups are finding it harder to defend their redoubts... (He) makes his case with eloquence." --Financial Times "The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being in Charge Isn't What It Used to Be is a wide-ranging, stimulating romp through the last 20 years or so in search of a universal explanation for the unraveling of the well-ordered, predictable postwar world of the late 20th century." --National Catholic Reporter "A timely and timeless book." --Booklist "Having served as editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy and the executive director of the World Bank, Naim knows better than most what power on a global scale looks like... [A] timely, insightful, and eloquent message." --Publishers Weekly, Starred Review "Foreign Policy editor-in-chief Naim argues that global institutions of power are losing their ability to command respect. Whether considering institutions of government, military, religion or business, the author believes their power to be in the process of decaying... A data-packed, intriguing analysis." --Kirkus Reviews