Acclaimed journalist Fareed Zakaria has been dubbed many things, including "the most influential foreign policy adviser of his generation" by Esquire magazine and an "America basher" by the conservative radio host Glenn Beck. It's not a debate elaborated on in this updated and extended edition of his 2008 bestseller, but Zakaria does want you to understand the facts as he sees them - and he does so using astute rhetoric.
At a time when the world seems ready to place all the blame on the follies of Washington in the last decade, Zakaria swoops in with his proposition of how the current financial crisis has been decades in the making and not through the fault of America's failure to curb its military spending, but via the meteoric "rise of the rest" that many analysts largely ignored.
China and India, the US's most powerful competitors, are given particular attention in two separate chapters. To his credit, Zakaria does not draw unfair comparisons between either and their American counterpart, but states his case for how the US can bounce back through learning from these new economic powerhouses.