The Absent Superpower
- The Shale Revolution and a World Without America
- Narrated by: Toby Sheets
- Length: 13 hrs and 44 mins
- Unabridged Audiobook
- Release date: 11-10-17
- Language: English
- Publisher: Zeihan on Geopolitics
Yet, for the Americans, these changes are fantastic. Alone among the world's powers, only the United States is geographically wealthy, demographically robust, and energy secure. That last piece - American energy security - is rapidly emerging as the most critical piece of the global picture.
The American shale revolution does more than sever the largest of the remaining ties that bind America's fate to the wider world. It re-industrializes the United States, accelerates the global order's breakdown, and triggers a series of wide ranging military conflicts that will shape the next two decades. The common theme? Just as the global economy tips into chaos, just as global energy becomes dangerous, just as the world really needs the Americans to be engaged, the United States will be...absent.
In 2014's The Accidental Superpower, geopolitical strategist Peter Zeihan made the case that geographic, demographic, and energy trends were unravelling the global system. Zeihan takes the story a step further in The Absent Superpower, mapping out the threats and opportunities as the world descends into disorder.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Howard Wright on 06-05-18
Brilliant, insightful book
I found this to be a brilliant book which, explains the state of the world, explains the fundamental importance of oil in the world, and sets out the writer's compelling case for fundamental change in the world's order.
I had not realised that the origin of free trade was the USA's need for security post WW2. I hadn't realised the effect of shale oil on the USA's oil security. I hadn't realised that the USA could cut itself off from trade with the world without doing itself that much damage.
I strongly recommend this book for revealing the true state of the world, and the major changes which might occur in the near future. The narration is excellent too.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Anonymous on 27-02-18
Only worthwhile if you're curious about updates
I really enjoyed The Accidental Superpower (TAS) but this sequel read like it was mostly written on airplanes between Peter's "real work". It has value but gets deep into technical aspects of shale production and repeats much of what the first book said. The remainder of much of the book is a basically fictional gameplay of world conflict between powers, something akin to an intel report. Nukes are a glaring omission in this analysis.
I am still glad I listened to it though. I've listened to this book only a couple months after it was released so it's a more up to date take on the major trends Peter outlined in his first book, taking Trump into account. He also, ever so slightly, backs off some of the more questionable assertions of his first book (do rivers really impact transit THAT much in modern times? Is US GDP really the same as post-WWII?) so it's good to see his methodology tighten a little.
There's not really a cohesive thesis in this book so it meanders and gets a bit long winded at times. If you're very interested in an update from TAS or you're interested in the technical aspects of shale production give it a listen. If not, you're probably ok to give it a pass.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
By Chidwick on 13-08-18
I listened to the Accidental Superpower and enjoyed it. The Absent Superpower starts out pretty dry, focusing A LOT on oil and shale. About halfway through it kicks things into full gear and you’re sent on a journey exploring what “the coming disorder” will look like by region. Highly recommend this series.
The performance by the narrator was superior to the Accidental Superpower. Everything seemed to flow more naturally and he kept it more interesting throughout than the previous Narrator.