Rating

8

Qualities

  • Applicable

Recommendation

It is rare that a book's style matches its content so completely. Authors Marian Salzman and Ira Matathia describe a world of ongoing flux, in which dozens of forces and thousands of options offer – and sometimes force – change. The book is written in many short bursts that combine analysis, sound bites and examples. The result is fun and easy to read, but (like the changes the book describes) a bit dizzying at times. Salzman and Matathia are very strong at observation; they know what's going on right now, and they do a good job of stretching from high to low (politics to teen sex habits, technology to moisturizers, and so on). This emphasis on tracking trends that are already under way makes the book immediately applicable. However, the authors pay more attention to tagging trends than to analyzing the underlying forces causing them. The result can be lightweight, and can leave readers crying out for more, deeper analyses of the root causes of change, or even just more help sorting temporary trends from long-term changes. That said, the book is savvy, so getAbstract suggests you'll find it quite beneficial in planning for the future – if you read it in combination with a more theoretical discussion of change as your grain of salt.

Summary

If You're Anxious, You're Not Alone

Your world has sped up and shrunk. You can't relax and ignore things happening at a distance anymore. What happens in one part of your world affects another; no one can stand alone. Americans used to think they could, but the events of September 11, 2001 proved them wrong, and the aftermath still colors many aspects of society. Your world is anxious because it cannot trust its institutions. The government and military were supposed to protect people, but a relatively small terrorist conspiracy left citizens on their own and scrambling. Natural disasters such as hurricanes – made worse by technology's impact on the environment – overwhelm existing social support structures, leaving you (and everyone else) to fend for yourself. In response, people are doing just that: acting for themselves. They are turning to citizen or celebrity diplomats, and counting on charities and private individuals (think of Bono or Bill Gates) to solve problems governments can't touch. This distrust of established powers is fueled by the recent corporate scandals and empowered by easy access to information on the Web.

"Globalization" is the best term for ...

About the Authors

An advertising firm executive vice-president, Marian Salzman has written or co-written more than a dozen titles, including The Future of Men and Buzz, both co-authored with Ira Matathia, a partner in a brand consultancy.


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