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The World


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Table of Contents



From the Thirty Years' War to the Outbreak of World War I (1618-1914) 5
From World War I Through World War II (1914-1945) 14
The Cold War (1945-1989) 29
The Post- Cold War Era (1989-Present) 43

Europe 67
East Asia and the Pacific 82
South Asia 97
The Middle East 111
Africa 131
The Americas 143

Globalization 159
Terrorism and Counterterrorism 166Nuclear Proliferation 173
Climate Change 183
Migration 193
The Internet, Cyberspace, and Cybersecurity 201
Global Health 208
Trade and Investment 215
Currency and Monetary Policy 230
Development 240

Sovereignty, Self-Determination, and Balance of Power 257
Alliances and Coalitions 264
International Society 270
War Between Countries 280
Internal Instability and War Within Countries 288
The Liberal World Order 296


About the Author

Dr. Richard Haass is president of the non-partisan Council on Foreign Relations. An experienced diplomat and policymaker, he served as the senior Middle East advisor to President George H.W. Bush and as Director of the Policy Planning Staff under Secretary of State Colin Powell. A recipient of the Presidential Citizens Medal, the State Department's Distinguished Honor Award, and the Tipperary International Peace Award, he is also the author or editor of fourteen other books, including A World in Disarray.


"This book is a superb introduction to the world and global issues. Richard Haass has been able to write something that is brief, readable and yet comprehensive -marked throughout by his trademark intelligence and common sense." -Fareed Zakaria

"A clear and concise account of the history, diplomacy, economics, and societal forces that have molded the modern global system." -Foreign Affairs

"Condensing so much complexity into a lucid 400 pages is no small accomplishment." -The New York Times

"This is the book that explains how the world really works, how it is changing, and why it matters. Just what every citizen and student needs to read." -Madeleine Albright

"This terrific work delivers completely on its promise to provide readers with a basic understanding of the world. It is hard to imagine anyone more suited for this ambitious task than Richard Haass. His narrative flair, depth of experience, and wide-ranging knowledge sparkle on every page." -Doris Kearns Goodwin

"Richard Haass has just reinvented the primer-something for everyone to read this summer. High school students, undergrads, grads in all disciplines and a few people in the nation's capital will benefit." -Rachel Kyte, Dean, The Fletcher School, Tufts University

"An essential book-just what the world needs now to put things in perspective." -Ray Dalio

"Richard Haass explains the world to us in a thoughtful, comprehensive and accessible way. At a time when our world is changing faster than ever-and becoming more interconnected and complex-it has never been more important to be globally literate. Our future depends on it." -Arne Duncan

"A comprehensive analysis of our world-a valuable guide for every alert citizen as well as for scholars and students of international affairs." -New York Journal of Books

"We are all being bombarded by strong views designed to conjure up emotion over sound judgement, which makes it very grounding to have The World. It is a great read for anyone who wants to have a sound background before deciding to retweet the latest crazy article making the rounds!" -Kal Penn

"This is a great book that every high school and college student, as well as teachers and parents, should read. An indispensable resource to educate global citizens." -Professor Fernando M. Reimers, Harvard Graduate School of Education

"The World explains important concepts clearly and fairly and offers an excellent overview of global affairs...Those who read and even study The World will be educated, stimulated and challenged. They will become better global citizens." -Washington Diplomat

"One core premise of this necessary book is that the three great scourges of our time-COVID-19, nuclear weaponry and climate change-cannot be resolved without a global outlook. Dr. Richard Haass, author of The World and 14 other books, is here to teach us. This book is aimed at a wide, inclusive audience. Haass' style is fulsome yet facile. He guides us on a rich, region-by-region world tour. The most fascinating feature of each treatment is 'looking ahead'-his fearless, in some cases, provocative analysis of what he feels is in store for a given corner of the globe." -Providence Journal

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