20:21 Vision

20:21 Vision : The Lessons of the 20th Century for the 21st

3.62 (40 ratings by Goodreads)
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Drawing on the characteristic developments of the last century, Bill Emmott sketches out the challenges that face the world in the next. There are few people who combine a truly global distribution of interests and insights with Bill Emmott's profile and experience. This book should be of interest to the managerial and investing classes, and everyone who seeks to appreciate more clearly the key assumptions on which public and commercial policy will be based in the first decade of the 21st century.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 135 x 197 x 21mm | 254g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • 0140298037
  • 9780140298031

Review Text

This book's bold subtitle, The Lessons of the 20th Century for the 21st, states its ambition clearly, and it does not disappoint. In the world of media celebrity, where editors of national publications have their words and wardrobes picked over in the manner of soap stars, Emmott is a refreshingly low-key presence, as befitting the editor of The Economist, where bylines are banned and idiosyncrasy subsumed into the familiar and authoritative Economist house style. His extensive knowledge of current affairs and his sense of historical perspective lend this book an importance that cannot be overstated in this time of uncertainty, and his maxim that we must look back if we want to seek solutions for the future of mankind is compelling and convincing. He tackles most of the predictable big issues - Chinese ambition and Japanese vulnerability; American leadership, both domestic and abroad; the dangers of calls to Utopia; the perils of turbulence and terrorism; the pros and cons of globalization. So many words have been written about the events of September 11, tending towards the view that something fundamental changed on that day, that it is heartening to read that: ' history does not support the idea that Bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda terror network have formed a wholly new category of challenge. Their challenge is large and worrying... but it is not new.' This measured tone is repeated in his chapter on global warming - 'the desire for efficiency gives us cause to be optimistic that countries such as China will switch to cleaner fuels and technologies much more quickly than the rich countries did' - and on American leadership - '... there is a good chance that the threats of terrorism and of weapons of mass destruction can be subdued, though never eliminated'. Emmott cheerfully summarizes his approach as one of 'paranoid optimism', and his well-reasoned arguments provide a thoughtful counterpoint to many of the hysterical headlines that are currently prevalent, although never, of course, in The Economist! (Kirkus UK)show more

Rating details

40 ratings
3.62 out of 5 stars
5 15% (6)
4 42% (17)
3 32% (13)
2 10% (4)
1 0% (0)
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