Surprised by the limitations on his power after he became a senior government minister in Venezuela in 1989, Moisés Naím explores whether other powerful people and organizations have experienced a similar erosion of influence. His sweeping examination of how people and institutions acquire, use and lose power offers insights into why governments can’t get anything done and how obscure start-ups can abruptly displace rival giants. Conglomerates, organized religion and powerful nations still enjoy great power, but Naím provides evidence that today’s more dispersed power proves easier to obtain and to lose, but harder to exercise. His argument ranges across politics, war, business, philanthropy and religion. getAbstract recommends his analysis to anyone interested in the broad trends that shape society. Naím’s other recommendation comes from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who selected this book as the first entry on his public reading list and, by so doing, made it a bestseller.
In this summary, you will learn
- Why the use and concentration of power are waning; and
- Why power proves easier to acquire and to lose, but more difficult to wield.
About the Author
Moisés Naím is the former Venezuelan trade minister and editor of Foreign Policy Magazine. In 2014, he was named among the world’s 100 leading thinkers.
Comment on this summary
1 year agoIn addition to this summary, I read the book. It will make you understand the changes in power better with more vivid examples.
4 years agoFrom the summary it seems the book is comprehensive (albeit not original) on analysis. Curious to see if the book also offers solutions.
4 years agoPretty intriguing analysis. Makes me want to buy the full book.