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Synopsis

The Editor in Chief of The Economist illuminates what global issues mattered in the last century--and how the ways in which we deal with them will shape our lives in the next

The attacks on September 11th, 2001, shook the rich West out of its complacency; suddenly, peace looked to be in peril. Even before that time prosperity was endangered, as campaigns mounted against the purported evils of capitalist globalization, such as inequality, pollution, and financial instability, and as America's high-tech stockmarket boom turned to bust. Yet, in the decade following the end of the Cold War, prospects had looked so rosy, with peace prevailing among the world's great powers, with billions of people joining the world market economy, and with great waves of technological change driving economies forwards.

What to make of such confusion and disappointment? What will the 21st century be like now? Bill Emmott, editor of the world's leading current affairs weekly, The Economist, argues that the best way to think about the future is to look back at the past, at the forces that have shaped our world and at what they tell us about the things that really matter in determining whether we are at peace or at war, in a state of liberty or repression, in a period of prosperity or of depression. From the twentieth century we can learn that two questions matter above all others: Will America continue to lead the world and to protect its peace? And will we continue to accept capitalism, with all its strengths and weaknesses, or will it be challenged once again? Bill Emmott's 20:21 Vision provides the answers that matter for all our lives in the twenty-first century.

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