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English Authors: Preparing for the Twenty-first Century

Original Title in English
Author: Paul Kennedy
Publishers: Vintage Book (1993)
ISBN 978-765-4321
My ref: ATA-335

About the Book: Kennedy’s groundbreaking book The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers helped to reorder the current priorities of the United States. Now, he synthesizes extensive research on fields ranging from demography to robotics to draw a detailed, persuasive, and often sobering map of the very near future–a bold work that bridges the gap between history, prophecy, and policy.

About the Author: Paul Kennedy is the author or editor of thirteen books, including Preparing for the Twenty-first Century and The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, which has been translated into more than twenty languages. He serves on the editorial board of numerous scholarly journals and has written for The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic Monthly, and several other publications. Educated at Newcastle University and Oxford University, he is a former fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton University and of the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung in Bonn.

Selected Reviews:
  • Scott London's review: "Preparing for the Twenty-First Century is a wide-ranging and intelligent survey of global trends — from population growth and global warming to the revolutions in biotechnology and robotics — and how they are likely to influence, if not dictate, the shape of society in coming years. The book is divided into three parts. 
    • The first is largely descriptive and examines general world trends. A chapter each is devoted to the population explosion and shifting demographic patterns; the communications revolution and the rise of the multinational corporation; world agriculture and the burgeoning field of biotechnology; robotics, automation and the changing face of industry; the growing threats to the natural world and the danger posed by global warming; and the decline of the nation-state. 
    • Part Two takes a more analytical turn, assessing the regional impacts of these global changes on the developing world, Japan, India, China, the former Soviet world, Europe, and the United States. 
    • Part Three consists of a single chapter summarizing Kennedy's conclusions about how societies can best "prepare" themselves for the twenty-first century. 
    • Conclusion: Kennedy's prognosis for the United States is less than optimistic. In his view, a steadily declining rate of economic growth, declining per capita productivity, a weak financial system, and a continuing trade deficit are the primary sources of concern. The country also faces considerable social challenges, including widespread drug use, urban crime, and a health care system that costs more and serves fewer people than any other health system in the industrialized world. But despite these problems, he concludes, the United States may "muddle through" and ultimately come out a winner.

Recommended Readings:
  • e-Notes recommends: Kennedy presents a gloomy prognosis, one of many challenges and solutions that all have costs. Meeting these challenges will require increased cooperation among nations and increased recognition of the costs of development. Read more on e-Notes under this link:
  • UN Millenium Development Goals: The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – which range from halving extreme poverty rates to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015 – form a blueprint agreed to by all the world’s countries and all the world’s leading development institutions. They have galvanized unprecedented efforts to meet the needs of the world’s poorest. The UN is also working with governments, civil society and other partners to build on the momentum generated by the MDGs and carry on with an ambitious post-2015 development agenda. Find out more on
  • National Academy of Sciences: Technology and the Nation's Future : This paper focuses on government policies regarding technology development and proposes measures to facilitate the translation of new knowledge to new capabilities. Another paper in this series, "Science and Engineering Research in a Changing World," describes policies that can strengthen linkages between science and engineering research and national objectives. Read more on
  • New Frontiers of Educational Research: Preparing Teachers for the 21st Century, Editors: Zhu, Xudong, Zeichner, Kenneth (Eds.). ​This book provides a comparative perspective and different methodologies to answering the question how to prepare high quality teachers in the East and the West. Read more under this link:
  • Global Leaders for the Twenty-First Century By Michael J. Marquardt. The twentieth century had its share of great leaders, from Alfred Sloan of General Motors to Jack Welch of General Electric, who were called by Noel Tichey "œthe first and the last great leaders of the twenty-first century" (Tichey and Cohen, 1997). They led effectively, but in a century much slower in pace and less intensive ...more book preview under this link:
  • McKinsey Insights about Leadership in the 21st century:
Analyses in French:
  • Persse France:
  • Réforme de la FAO: Une vision pour le XXIe siècle,
  • Mondialisation et convergences des crises, 
    • les défis du développement durable pour le 21è s.
    • La paix par et pour le développement durable,
    • Le Forum Social Mondial vers un dialogue multi-acteurs,
    • Ouverture des économies et développement durable,
    • Pour en savoir plus, visiter le site:

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