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THE ABSENT SUPERPOWER

Peter Zeihan

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Subtitle: The Shale Revolution and A World Without America, Zeihan on Geopolitics, Austin, TX., 2016, footnotes, maps, charts

 
 

Reviewer comment
This is the second of three books by Peter Zeihan developing and elaborating on the same set of ideas. The author has three interrelated themes. One is that the political/economic (geopolitical) world since 1944 has been a result of the "Breton Woods' agreement that established the monetary system and rules for international commerce under American protection and control, but that the U.S. is now declining to continue as the world's 'police man' and this will result in a period of chaos.
The second is that this American desire is being aided by the remarkable expansion of its world position in the production of energy - oil and natural gas - as a result of dramatic technological ability to extract those from previously unsuitable shale rock formations.
The third is the shifting demographic changes in each country which determine the capability of the society to meet its financial challenges. In addition, he discusses several related variables that will influence the coming conditions, one of these is the cost of transportation. The first in the series - The Accidental Superpower - was published in 2014. The third - Disunited Nations - was published in 2020. Thus, the three also include some repetitive information but they also constitute an expansion as each expands on its predecessors.
Throughout all three books the author provides very numerous maps, charts, diagrams which greatly enhance the readers' understanding. And now he has published on-line a reference site that contains many of these in full color that was not possible in the printed versions.
I add a list of references related to the three books.

 
 

Introduction

 

Part I: Shale New World

These three chapters contain more technical and financial information about how the whole shale industry functions than I have read in many other references combined.

 
 

Chapter I The First Shale Revolution

 
 

Chapter 2 The Second Shale Revolution

 
 

Chapter 3 The Third Shale Revolution

 

Chapter 4 Energy with an American Accent

 

Part II: The Disorder

 

Chapter 5 The End of the (Old) World

The readers might be encouraged by the author's first sentence. "The United States is the most powerful country in history and will remain so until long after our grandchildren are gone."

 

Chapter 6 The Twilight War

 

Chapter 7 The (Next) Gulf War

 

Chapter 8 The Tanker War

 
 

Chapter 9 The Sweet Sixteen

 
 

Chapter 10 It's a Supermajor World

 
 

Part III: The American Play

 
 

Chapter 11 Tools of the Trade

 
 

Chapter 12 Dollar Diplomacy in Southeast Asia

 
 

Conclusion

 
 

Appendix I Shale and the Changing Face of Climate Change

 
 

Appendix II Other Shale Concerns

 
 

Appendix III Oil and Natural Gas Data

 
 

Some References

 
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Thomas Kuhn - The Struture of Scientific Revolutions

 
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Lawrence H. White - The Clash of Economic Ideas

 
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Peter Zeihan - The Accidental Superpower

 
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Peter Zeihan - Disunited Nations: The Scramble for Power in an Ungoverned World

 
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Geoffrey Parker - Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century

 
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Glen Hubbard and Tim Kane - The Economics of Great Powers Balance from Ancient Rome to Modern America

 
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Mark Skousen - The Structure of Production

 
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Harry S. Dent Jr. - The Demographic Cliff

 
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William Strass and Neil Howe - The Fourth Turning

 
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Robert Kaplan - The Revenge of Geography

 
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Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner - Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction

 
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Marcia C. Kuropovna - Russia, China, and Geopolitics of Silk Road

 
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Peter Frankopan - The Silk Roads: A New History of the World

 
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Robert D. Blackwell & Jennifer M. Harris - War by Other Means: Geoeonomics and Statecraft

 
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Robert Spalding - Stealth War: How China Took over While Ameria's Elite Slept

 
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Michael Pillsbury - The Hundred-Year Marathon: China's Secret Strategy to Replace America and the Global Superpower

 
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Bill Gertz - Deceiving the Sky: Inside Communist China's Drive for Global Supremacy

 
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