12 interesting facts and quotes from the book “The Post-American World and The Rise Of The Rest”…

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Fareed Zakaria is an Indian-American journalist. He received his doctorate in political science from Harvard University and taught international relations and political philosophy until he became editor-in-chief of international magazines and hosted weekly television programs.
In his book, The Post-American World and The Rise Of The Rest, published in 2008, Fareed Zakaria explains that a post-American world is emerging in which the United States of America will have less influence, without becoming irrelevant. This is because the rest of the world is becoming more important economically, diplomatically, and socially. What he calls the “rise of the rest of the world.

I would definitely recommend you to read the book even though it was written 14 years ago, but the book is very rich in information and rich in Fareed’s ideas, which I really appreciate and I still always like to hear his opinion on world events. Attached are 18 interesting facts and quotes from his book.

  1. “Western Europe rebuilt itself from the ashes of WW2 —Same as Japan, which grew over 9% a year for 23 years. In 1985 Japan was already the second-largest economy in the world — but because Japan’s economy, institutions, and politics were still not fully modernized, the country could not make the final leap to unseat the United States as the largest.”
  2. The size of the global economy doubled every 10 years — going from $31 trillion in 1999 to $62 trillion in 2008 and inflation stayed surprisingly and persistently low. Economic growth reached new regions.
  3. “Hyperinflation is the worst economic malady that can befall a nation. It wipes out the value of money, savings, assets, and thus work. It is worse even than a deep recession. Hyperinflation robs you of what you have now (savings), whereas a recession robs you of what you might have had. Hyperinflation destroys the middle class by making its savings worthless. In the late 1980s, dozens of large, important countries were beset by hyperinflation. In Argentina, it was at 3.500%, in Brazil at 1.200%, and in Peru at 2.500%.”
  4. “The world population tripled in the twentieth century, but water consumption increased sixfold. Americans use more than 400 liters of water a day to drink, cook, and clean themselves.”
  5. “In WW2 Russia involved more land combat than all other theaters of the war put together and resulted in 30 million deaths. It was where 3/4 of all German forces fought and where Germany incurred 70% of its casualties.”
  6. “By tradition, the IMF is always headed by a European and the World Bank by an American.”
  7. “Between 1350 and 1950–600 years — GDP per capita remained roughly constant in China and India — And western European had a 600% increase.”
  8. “A country that had nuclear weapons in 1968 is a legitimate nuclear-weapon state, and any country that developed them later is an outlaw. India, which exploded a nuclear device in 1974, is the only potential global power, that lies outside the nonproliferation system.”
  9. “By 1890 America had overtaken Britain as the world’s leading economy, but in diplomatic and military terms, it was a second-rung power. Its army ranked 14 in the world after Bulgaria’s- Its navy was 1/8 the size of Italy’s even though its industrial strength was by then 13 times bigger.”
  10. “WW2 was the final nail in the coffin of British economic power. In 1945 American GDP was 10 times that of Britain. And in the 1950s America’s share in the World’s GDP rose up to 50% — The United States has accounted for roughly 1/4 of world output for over a century. In 2025, most estimates suggest that the U.S. economy will still be twice the size of China’s in terms of nominal GDP... Early on, as it saw the balance of power shifting, London made one crucial decision that extended its influence by decades: it chose to accommodate itself to the rise of America rather than to contest it.”
  11. “Senior American officials live in their own bubbles. They simply repeat the American position, like the tourist who thinks he just needs to speak louder and slower, and then we will all understand.”
  12. “If you threaten a country with regime change, it only makes more urgent the government’s desire for nuclear weapons.”
  13. “No one in Asia wants to live in a Chinese-dominated world. There is no Chinese dream to which people aspire.”
  14. “China needs the American market to sell its goods, the US needs China to finance its debt.”
  15. “Indians leaving their country is a brain drain but it has been more like brain gain. For both sides. Indians abroad have played a crucial role in opening up the mother country. They return to India with money, investment ideas, global standards, and most importantly, a sense that Indians can achieve anything.”
  16. “The only way for Europe to avert the demographic decline is to take more immigrants. But European societies do not seem able to take in and assimilate people from strange and unfamiliar cultures…Japan faces a large prospective worker shortage because it can neither take in enough immigrants nor allow its women to fully participate in the labor force.”
  17. “In U.S. foreign students and immigrants account for 50% of the scientific researchers in the country and, in 2006, received 40% of the doctorates in science and engineering and 65% of the doctorates in computer science.”
  18. “Other educational systems teach you to take tests, the American system teaches you to think. In America, people are allowed to be bold, challenge authority, fail, and pick themselves up. It’s America, not Japan, that produces dozens of Nobel Prize winners. Quick thinking, and problem-solving.”

Don’t forget to read the book!

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