After America: Narratives for the Next Global Age

Paul Starobin, Author . Viking $26.95 (358p) ISBN 978-0-670-02094-2

Starobin, staff correspondent for the National Journal , delivers a meticulously researched and up-to-the-minute analysis of the United States’ role in global politics, culture and society. Arguing that the U.S. has reached the end of its tenure as a unipolar superpower, Starobin analyzes the weaknesses in America’s political and economic institutions that have led to a widening gap in prosperity (both within its own borders and vis-à-vis other developed nations) and hindered its ability to set the pace of progress. He demonstrates how theories of widespread chaos in a post-American era are constructed, using as an example the fall of Pakistan’s Pervez Musharraf, America’s key ally against the Taliban in Afghanistan—but he shies away from this model, suggesting how the new world order might be one in which power is assumed by another nation (possibly China) or shared among several (India, Brazil and the E.U.). He also questions the validity of classically defined nation-states in favor of the possibility that economic and social interactions between cross-national regions, powerful city-states or global movements might supersede the relevance of individual nations. The result is a narrative of extraordinary range and contemporary relevance. (June)

Reviewed on: 04/06/2009
Release date: 05/01/2009
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