On the Future

Article excerpt

FP's new section, The Early Read, will highlight upcoming new books with big ideas. In this inaugural edition, we examine a few picks from the reliable crop of books about the future that appears every new year. These take a slightly longer view, with bold forecasts for the next century: which brewing conflicts will erupt into wars, which states will dominate, and what it will mean to live in a completely digitized world.

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7 Deadly Scenarios: A Military Futurist Explores War in the 21st Century

By Andrew Krepinevich (January 27, Bantam)

As president of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments and consultant to the likes of the CIA and the Homeland Security Council, Krepinevich has studied everything from China's ambitions to Internet warfare to the puzzle of Pakistan. Now, he answers the question: What's the worst that could happen? Whether it's the detonation of black-market nuclear weapons in major cities or a global pandemic, his scenarios are deeply unsettling.

A Brief History of the Future

By Jacques Attali (March 11, Arcade)

For another harrowing forecast, one of France's top intellectuals (and an FP contributing editor) argues that history shapes the future with intrinsic, predictable patterns--and then uses them to foreshadow the period on deck. So what does Attali see? A massive reshaping of the global landscape, with democracy ultimately prevailing but at great expense in lives and money. …