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The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century Audiobook, by George Friedman Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: George Friedman Narrator: William Hughes Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2009 ISBN: 9781481583183
3.00071889797675 out of 53.00071889797675 out of 53.00071889797675 out of 53.00071889797675 out of 53.00071889797675 out of 5 3.00 (2,323 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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A fascinating, eye-opening, and often shocking look at what lies ahead for the United States—and the world—from one of our most incisive futurists

George Friedman has become a leading expert in geopolitical forecasting, sought after for his unmatched grasp of both historical and contemporary trends. In The Next 100 Years, Friedman turns his eye to the future. Drawing on a profound understanding of geopolitical patterns dating back to the Roman Empire, he shows that we are now, for the first time in half a millennium, experiencing the dawn of a new historical cycle.

Friedman predicts that the US–Jihadist war will conclude, to be replaced by a second confrontation with Russia; China will undergo a major internal crisis, and Mexico will emerge as an important world power; there will be at least one global war, but armies will be smaller and wars less deadly; and technology will focus on space, both for military uses and for energy. This book is a compelling, eye-opening portrait of the future.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “There is a temptation, when you are around George Friedman, to treat him like a Magic 8-Ball.”

    New York Times Magazine

  • “Predictions have made George Friedman a hot property these days.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Expect the unexpected…He can see without the crystal ball.”


  • Barron’s consistently has found Stratfor’s insights informative and largely on the money—as has the company’s large client base, which ranges from corporations to media outlets and government agencies.”


  • “[A] unique combination of cold-eyed realism and boldly confident fortune-telling…Whether all of the visions in Friedman’s crystal ball actually materialize, they certainly make for engrossing entertainment.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “[A] compelling story…William Hughes captures the author’s informal tone as well as his obvious intelligence and perception. As he narrates, the listener watches the coming years unfold like an interstellar adventure movie…listening to the entire work makes one long to stick around to watch it all unfold. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”


  • “[Friedman] delivers a clearer, deeper, and subtler understanding of the post-9/11 world than we will ever get from listening to the cacophony of talking heads on television.”


  • AnAudioFile Earphones Award Winner
  • AnAmazon Top Customer Favorite

Listener Reviews

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  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Timothy | 2/20/2014

    " Interesting look at the next century through the lens of geopolitics - focusing on demographic shifts and the impacts of technology. I read it as to broaden my thinking - and view it as an interesting thought experiment, as was pleased with it on those grounds. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ryan | 2/18/2014

    " Ehh, this book probably rates around 2.5-3 stars... The timing on it's publication didn't fit very well with the current economic meltdown and subsequently it hurts the credibility of some of the more complex ideas he is pushing. Friedman presents some excellent points and raises questions about how the reader and society not only perceive the future but also the past and cyclic nature of geopolitics. I enjoyed most of the concepts presented but was probably to hung up on the missed financial crisis to buy into his projections for China in the 1rst half of the century. While he does briefly address the crisis in a new forward, his defensive stance didn't quite win me over going in. In depth reasoning and detailed research have the ability to create a shift in perspective as you move through the talking points. All in all this was worth the read, the concepts forced me to abandon my normal liberal cynicism when looking at American Empire to acknowledge it's meaning within the scope of centuries of geopolitical conflict. Friedman's observations about the cyclic nature of the socio-economics in US history we're quite profound. I disagree with some of the ideas about growth and disorganization over time in given cultures but perhaps that is merely my opinion against Friedman's. The only other nagging issue for me was the nonexistence of financial manipulation or crazy third world country revolt having any impact over time, both of which I think will occur with the potential for serious geopolitical repercussions. At the end of the day it's a pretty quick read with known characters and back history so knock yourself out... Worst case scenario you gain some respect for why things are the way they are and might be able to use it in a conversation. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Janusz | 2/17/2014

    " My short review is - do not buy this book. This is one of the worst books which I read recently. It is not worth any penny. Instead, I recommend to read "race against machine", writen by MIT' tutors. Until I saw a map of Europe divided on regions, I was expecting something at least with average quality. No one who puts Denmark, Italy and Germany in one "Central European" basket deserves for higher grade than 2/5. Spain and United Kingdom as one group of countries? Come on. This kind of books you do not writing according what you want to fulfill in the future, but what can happened. In different scenarios. We saw here just one scenario, world dominated by the USA. I am from Poland, and I was living in Denmark. I have many friends from different countries. First time in my life I saw that someone put Denmark in different group than one of Scandinavians country. This is not only a member state of the scandinavian union but also a nordic country with Sweden and Norway. The most pure heartbeat of the north. Denmark and Southern Italy or even whole country have so much common as Lybia and Italy. The United Kingdom and Spain? What is similar between them? That Spain was once a naval superpower, a few centuries ago? These nations have completely different cultures, way of live. The different goals in international politics. The author completely ignored impact of technology on future societies. This already has begun. Just think how world is different nowadays due to automatization. The only problem in increasing production of the future societies will be resources not amount of workers. Average people are not necessary NOWADAYS in increasing output of industry. Only the most creative parts of society, engineers, sciencists and so on, are important. I doubt did for example future Pakistan could provide more well educated people than Russia only because they will have bigger population. He doesnt described the third possibility of Russian future, because he did not liked her. Depopulation of Russia, not only stopped but start rising recently. The government invest huge money in switching trends, and to become a exporter of goods not only resources. But he doesn't doing this investing in factories, trying to compete with existing industries in western europe. Russians investing in the technology of the future, to have strong positition, before rivals will emerge. Read about rusnano corporation. They know that can not win with Germany in industries, already well developed. If we start thinking in the future in this way, that shrinking population is even better due to shrinking resources, the Europe or Russia are in much better position than for example Brazil which will have to feed millions of not useful at all workers, replaced my machines. Automatized Russia, still can feed the unemployed population using own resources. Does Pakistan with maybe even 300 milions or african countries, will have this possibility? Read raport of British ministry of defense -global trends to 2070. The modification of human genome, technical unemployment, robots.. That is the future, where the future of Russia will be determined. To become a global superpower, one of many with the united States, or dissapear completely in a nuclear blast wuth a country who invaded terrotiry. Russia will have probably huge problems in the future, but comparing with another parts of globe they will be lucky ones due to huge underpopulation, described as weakness. The overpopulation and civil not interstate wars, will the main problem of future socities. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brent | 1/30/2014

    " Friedman makes quite a compelling argument for future geo-political events based on current world power dynamics, technology advancement, and historical analyses. I will not be surprised to see several of his predicted plot lines unfold in years to come. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Thomas | 1/23/2014

    " This book starts out reasonable, if far-fetched. Then the giant robots appear. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Philip | 1/20/2014

    " This book really made me think about the impact of demographic trends. The author makes some very counter intuitive predictions which do have some rationale behind them worth thinking about. You don't have to agree with the author but I think just reading this book will open your mind to new possible outcomes in the future. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dianna | 1/16/2014

    " The first half of the book where he sets the stage and explains how he came to his main ideas is very very thought provoking. I would have given it 4 stars had the second half not been so bogged down with details that it became very boring and harder and harder to picture. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jakub.lipinski | 12/4/2013

    " It's a great read not because of the particular predictions but mostly to learn the approach and technics the author uses for forecasting the future. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ryan | 11/19/2013

    " The guy offers some sharp predictions about the US and the world within the next 100 years. There are many things I can agree with or see happening. He makes sense. We will see how much he gets correct. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Thomas | 11/15/2013

    " Great fun read about a possible future. Friedman's forecasts are based on a good understanding of history and geography. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Taylor | 11/9/2013

    " Interesting but could use a more principled approach. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dori | 11/1/2013

    " A smart viewpoint about what countries will be dominating the world economically over the course of this century and why - interesting position he puts the U.S. and China in...very thought provoking. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 10/10/2013

    " You know I had to pick this up and check it out. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Zoltan | 8/30/2013

    " A Geopolitical book that tend to ramble about wars of the future war powers, but made an excellent point about the aging baby boomer generation and the lack of a population to support it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rich | 8/25/2013

    " Futurists are always interesting to listen to. His ideas about America's future are encouraging. When it comes to forecasting the future who knows really? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alan | 12/21/2012

    " Interesting. I enjoyed his description of the past and present more so than his imaginings of the future. Once you're past 2020 you sorta grow tired of his story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carolyn | 7/5/2012

    " Interesting, intelligent, plausible, educated guesses about what the 21st century has in store for us, by a man who is well paid for analyzing the big picture. To my surprise, he sees no big disaster in the U.S. credit mess. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David | 11/25/2011

    " An interesting forecast that starts out with a bang, but ends on a dull note. The first few decades of his predictions seem somewhat viable; however, the venture into space and an approaching World War III seemed a little far fetched to me. Still, VERY fascinating. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eliot | 8/12/2011

    " Great read on geo politics and how we might be living for the balance of this century. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dom | 4/28/2011

    " While it delves into science fiction at points, this is an elucidating book and a reprieve from common, short-sighted thinking on geopolitics. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Al | 4/8/2011

    " The first half of this book is a plethora of fact and knowledge that is revealing in its optimism. I enjoyed the perspective immensely. The second half of the book was a little too much speculation, but interesting. Worth reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shane | 4/6/2011

    " Very entertaining. Plausible theories about the changing state of geopolitics. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pete | 4/4/2011

    " Pretty fun and believable…
    until he got to the "Battle Stars".


  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris | 3/17/2011

    " The author speaks with such an authority on so many topics it is easy to forget that these are just his speculations. Very educated speculation but still just speculation. Highly recommend read for anyone interested in geo-politics and world affairs. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matthew | 3/8/2011

    " Another good book on global geopolitics. Easy to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bonnie | 2/22/2011

    " Very interesting...Some of his ideas for events far off in the future didn't seem believable, but he makes several good arguments. "

About the Author

George Friedman is the founder and CEO of Stratfor, the world’s leading private intelligence company. He is frequently called upon as a media expert and is the author of four books, including America’s Secret War, and numerous articles on national security, information warfare, computer security, and the intelligence business. He lives in Austin, Texas.

About the Narrator

William Hughes is an AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator. A professor of political science at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon, he received his doctorate in American politics from the University of California at Davis. He has done voice-over work for radio and film and is also an accomplished jazz guitarist.