Fareed Zakaria is the host of CNN's flagship international affairs show, Fareed Zakaria GPS, and a weekly columnist for the Washington Post. He has also written two best-selling books, The Post-American World and The Future of Freedom. In this inventive, wide-ranging, and remarkably clear examination of life after the COVID-19 pandemic, the author explores changes on the horizon not only in the United States but also around the world.
Political leaders and medical experts must have failed their history lessons about the late-medieval Black Death which took the lives of between 75 and 200 million and the Spanish flu during and after World War I which claimed 50 to 100 million lives. While U.S. leaders refused to take swift and decisive action against Covid-19, other countries such as South Korea, New Zealand, Taiwan, Denmark, and Germany didn't waste any time denying the seriousness of the epidemic. Zakara suggests that America needs to learn from the world about government — "not big or small but good government."
What kind of world is emerging from the pandemic? China has become the second-largest economy in the world and it is exceling as a leading player in the world of computers, telecommunications, social media, and even artificial intelligence. Zakaria hits high stride in a cogent analysis of our bipolar world, the moral failings of meritocracy, the significance of the digital economy, the global rise of economic inequality, the likelihood of more natural disasters, the interest in a new metropolitan model (the 15-minute city), the expanded use of computers and the continued impact of globalization.
"The soldiers who died during World War II gave us all a chance to build a better and more peaceful world. So, too, in our times, this ugly pandemic has created the possibility for change and reform. It has opened up a path to a new world. It's ours to take that opportunity or squander it. Nothing is written."