Zero-Sum Future

American Power in an Age of Anxiety

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About The Book

With a new foreword on the revolutions in the Arab world and the euro crisis, one of the world’s most influential commentators on international affairs offers a stark warning about a gathering global political crisis.

From one of the world’s most influential commentators on international affairs, chief foreign affairs columnist for the Financial Times, comes a stark warning about a gathering global political crisis.

Successive presidents have welcomed globalization and the rise of China. But with American unemployment stubbornly high and U.S. power facing new challenges, the stage is set for growing rivalry between America and China. The European Union is also ripping itself apart. The win-win logic of globalization is giving way to a zero-sum logic of political and economic struggle.

The new world we now live in, an age of anxiety, is a less prosperous, less stable world, with old ideas overthrown and new ideologies and powers on the rise. Rachman shows how zero-sum logic is thwarting efforts to deal with global problems from Afghanistan to unemployment, climate change to nuclear proliferation.

This timely and important book details why international politics is now more dangerous and volatile—and suggests what can be done to break away from the crippling logic of a zero-sum world.

About The Author

courtesy of the author

Gideon Rachman is the chief foreign affairs commentator for the Financial Times. Before joining the Financial Times in 2006, he was a senior editor and correspondent for The Economist for fifteen years. He has worked as a foreign correspondent in Washington, Brussels, and Bangkok and has reported from all over the world, including recently from Russia, China, India, and Afghanistan.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (February 1, 2011)
  • Length: 352 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781439176634

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Raves and Reviews

"The best one volume account now available of the huge post-communist spread of personal freedom and prosperity."

– The New York Times

"A superbly written, witty and sometimes picturesque - even picaresque - journey through the modern world."

– John Cryer MP in "Total Politics"

"Gideon Rachman has done us all a major service by debunking many of the myths surrounding globalisation."

– The Observer

"An important, timely book"

– The Independent

“With his inimitable combination of dry wit and analytical clarity, Gideon Rachman gives us the latest thirty years of world history in three distinct phases, from the genesis of the Eighties, through the hubris of the Nineties and early Noughties, to the nemesis of the
Great Recession. What makes this book so readable is the author’s keen eye for the microcosm: the individual who personifies a big theme. No one else can make a solemn subject like nuclear non-proliferation live and breathe the way Rachman can.”

– Niall Ferguson, author of Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire

“The aftermath of the Great Recession highlights the new reality—a rebalancing not only of the global economy but also of world politics. That is the timely story that Gideon Rachman, the wise foreign affairs columnist of the Financial Times, so incisively tells—of how what was supposed to be a more open globalized world turned into a more fragmented one. Drawing on two decades of first-hand observation, he presents a vivid portrait of the rise of the Age of Optimism and how it gave way to this new and more-dangerous Age of Anxiety. He points to a constructive way forward. But, reflecting the realities of which he writes, his own optimism is laced with more than a little sobriety.”

– Daniel Yergin, author of The Prize: the Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power

“With Zero-Sum Future, Gideon Rachman has crafted a shrewd, comprehensive, beautifully written account of a world in quick transition. It’s an essential map that details where we are, how we got here, and where we’re headed. His account of American anxiety in an age of Chinese and Russian-style capitalist authoritarianism is dead on the money. The story is engaging, the arguments are persuasive, and the forecast is a must-read.”

– Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group and author of The End of the Free Market

“With Zero-Sum Future, Gideon Rachman has crafted a shrewd, comprehensive, beautifully written account of a world in quick transition. It’s an essential map that details where we are, how we got here, and where we’re headed. His account of American anxiety in an age of Chinese and Russian-style capitalist authoritarianism is dead on the money. The story is engaging, the arguments are persuasive, and the forecast is a must-read.”

– Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group and author of The End of the Free Market

“Zero-Sum Future addresses the most important geopolitical issue today: whether the United States and Europe will be able to lead the world to a more prosperous and benign future through economic and political cooperation or whether they will lose confidence and fall victim to the fashionable myths of Asian ascendancy, counter-globalization, and the attempt to revive the market-defying State. Though Rachman writes with dispassionate clarity, his message is fundamentally a moral one. This is a superb book.”

– Philip Bobbitt, author of Terror and Consent

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