The End of Power Book Summary - The End of Power Book explained in key points
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The End of Power summary

Moisés Naím

From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being in Charge Isn’t What It Used To Be

4.5 (16 ratings)
24 mins

Brief summary

"The End of Power" by Moisés Naím is a thought-provoking book that explores how traditional structures of power are losing their grip in today's world, and how this presents challenges and opportunities for individuals and societies.

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    The End of Power
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    Power is crumbling everywhere.

    Protesters have taken to Wall Street and other public places around the world to voice their concerns about the increasing concentration of wealth and power among the “one percent,” who in their view only grow more powerful as time progresses. Reporters and foreign relations experts have long made predictions about America’s decline and China’s rise to power.

    Yet when we examine political relations more closely, we see that something much more fundamental is happening to the distribution of power in the world. But first, what is power exactly?

    In essence, power is the ability to make others do what you want them to do. Parents exert power when they make their kids eat their vegetables before they can have dessert. Power is at work when Barack Obama motivated large numbers of young people to become engaged with party politics in the 2008 presidential elections.

    But power is also relational, and the traditional barriers that reinforced the position of the mighty and prevented potential rivals from becoming significant challengers are weakening rapidly.

    These barriers permeate our society. They are military arsenals, access to resources, available capital, brand recognition, the moral authority of a religious leader and the rules governing elections. Any challenger to power has to overcome them.

    Yet while these barriers have always been present, they’ve become less and less stable over the last three decades. Capital moves more quickly, military weapons and training are increasingly available, the knowledge-base of academia is being democratized, and so on.

    Consequently, the traditionally powerful are having difficulty maintaining their position. Today, even the most powerful people and organizations can be ruined in a heartbeat.

    Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, for example, was trashed practically overnight. The once esteemed Tiger Woods had his reputation dragged into the gutter just as quickly.

    One has only to look to the length of asymmetrical wars, such as Vietnam or the War on Terror, to see how flimsy something as seemingly cut and dried as military might can be.

    But why has the nature and distribution of power changed so drastically?

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    What is The End of Power about?

    The End of Power makes the case for how advances changes in technology and society have caused the old fortresses of power to crumble. We now face a brand new paradigm of power, one that isn’t hoarded by an elite few, but rather split amongst us all. But what does that mean for society and government?

    The End of Power Review

    The End of Power (2013) explores the changing dynamics of power in the modern world, offering fascinating insights into the new forces shaping our lives. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It analyzes real-world examples and historical events to showcase how power is shifting and how traditional power structures are losing their grip.
    • The book explores the consequences of this power shift, revealing how it impacts politics, economics, and social dynamics, making it highly relevant and thought-provoking.
    • With its eye-opening revelations and well-researched arguments, it challenges conventional wisdom and stimulates critical thinking, ensuring the book is anything but boring.

    Best quote from The End of Power

    It is infinitely easier today to kill a million people than to control them. - Zbigniew Brzezinksi

    —Moisés Naím
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    Who should read The End of Power?

    • Anyone interested in foreign policy
    • Anyone interested in culture and social phenomena
    • Anyone interested in political science

    About the Author

    Moisés Naím is the former trade minister of Venezuela, executive director of the World Bank, editor in chief of Foreign Policy and fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

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    The End of Power FAQs 

    What is the main message of The End of Power?

    The main message of The End of Power is that traditional forms of power are losing influence in today's world.

    How long does it take to read The End of Power?

    The reading time for The End of Power varies, but it can be read in a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The End of Power a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The End of Power is a thought-provoking read that challenges conventional notions of power. It offers valuable insights into the changing dynamics of our world.

    Who is the author of The End of Power?

    The author of The End of Power is Moisés Naím.

    What to read after The End of Power?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The End of Power, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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