Let me start off with a small side note on wanting to get my hands on Zuckerbergs personal schedule. Only because I find it hard to believe that people such as him have any time to read, but then again I guess this is why he challenged himself to read a new book every two weeks.
The End of Power by Moises Naim is a thoughtful and thoroughly researched book (he took about 7 years to write it) about the essence of power and how it impacts all of us. Venezuelan writer Naim touches on the idea that power is not only a morphing concept but how our version of power is very different in regards to our ancestors version of power. Through the use of metaphors and concrete details, Naim manages to grasp this giant, abstract idea, of what power is and demonstrate that with the passing years it is still changing.
The access to power was selective and it was almost an unsurmounted fortress where unless you had money and connections, the average person could never dream of wielding it. Now we live in an age where almost anyone with strong opinions and convictions can have a following of more than a million people. Young entrepreneurs that are inventing merchandise and becoming millionaires almost overnight with the use of the internet and eCommerce. Political leaders are always in the spotlight and although they are powerful in their own right, their power is constantly being monitored and challenged. CEO’s who think they are invincible can be destroyed by social media overnight and lose an empire ( *cough, Sterling).
Although Naim dabbles into the idea of “hey, you can have some of that power too if you want it”, he also urges against anarchy and the importance of having societal structure. He explores how military tactics are changing due to cyber attacks and terrorism and new ways that small, almost developing countries are now creating mayhem and chaos in countries that are not prepared.
Pros: Good read to show off your newfound knowledge on economics, military developments and historical context on the evolution and impact of power to your new professor for the semester. Sections of the book are great for presenting complex ideas into small, tangible examples of everyday life.
Cons: The beginning is a bit muddy in terms of making it through to the juicy stuff. In a work of nonfiction where the reader has to understand technical terms and concepts before moving on, it can get cumbersome especially with the repetition of the word ‘power.’ At times, if you are not a fan of statistics and facts then you might be strongly tempted to skip paragraphs and even pages.
Definitely recommended if you are looking for a relatively concise depiction of an important concept that is relevant to everyday life combined with well-researched facts and different angles of thinking.
Not so much for those that are looking for a nonfiction narrative that has more of a personal and familiar touch.
Next Book Below!
The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker
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