20:21 Vision

Twentieth-Century Lessons for the Twenty-First Century

Bill Emmott

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The Editor in Chief of The Economist illuminates what global issues mattered in the last century--and how the ways in which we deal with them will shape our lives in the next

The attacks on September 11th, 2001, shook the rich West out of its complacency; suddenly, peace looked to be in peril. Even before that time prosperity was endangered, as campaigns mounted against the purported evils of capitalist globalization, such as inequality, pollution, and financial instability, and as America's high-tech stockmarket boom turned to bust. Yet, in the decade following the end of the Cold War, prospects had looked so rosy, with peace prevailing among the world's great powers, with billions of people joining the world market economy, and with great waves of technological change driving economies forwards.

What to make of such confusion and disappointment? What will the 21st century be like now? Bill Emmott, editor of the world's leading current affairs weekly, The Economist, argues that the best way to think about the future is to look back at the past, at the forces that have shaped our world and at what they tell us about the things that really matter in determining whether we are at peace or at war, in a state of liberty or repression, in a period of prosperity or of depression. From the twentieth century we can learn that two questions matter above all others: Will America continue to lead the world and to protect its peace? And will we continue to accept capitalism, with all its strengths and weaknesses, or will it be challenged once again? Bill Emmott's 20:21 Vision provides the answers that matter for all our lives in the twenty-first century.


Read an Excerpt


PEACE CHALLENGED120:21 VISIONTHERE ARE many wonderful things about being a journalist. The excitement of responding to, and trying to make sense of, the flow of news. The challenge of trying to sort out the wood from the trees, the important from the unimportant, the honest from the dishonest, the reasonable from the hyperbolic. The independence of mind and of spirit, the accompanying sense of the ridiculous, that are available to an outsider, an observer of rather than participant in events, processes and organizations. The fact that so many people read or hear what


Praise for 20:21 Vision

"Bill Emmott has given us a penetrating, rigorous, and highly readable book that will stir the thinking and the passions of business and government leaders as well as concerned citizens everywhere. He has not only provided the context of today's headlines, but of tomorrow's, too."
-Jeffrey E. Garten, Dean, Yale School of Management

"Bill Emmott has a record of prescience. When others believed Japan would overtake the United States, he published The Sun Also Sets. Now he peers into the future of our troubled new century with the eyes of a 'paranoid optimist.' The result is a fascinating and challenging 'must read' book."
-Joseph S. Nye, author of The Paradox of American Power

"Emmott's identification of the two biggest long-term challenges we face today is clearly right. These are the key questions to fasten upon, and he does so with his customary verve and wit. 20:21 Vision is a must-read for policy-makers, pundits and armchair strategists alike."
-Paul Kennedy, author of The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers and Preparing for the Twenty-First Century

"Bill Emmott's ability to synthesize politics, war and peace, economics, and environment in one eloquent frame is outstanding."
-Peter F. Drucker, author of Managing in the Next Society

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Bill Emmott

  • Bill Emmott has been the editor in chief of The Economist since 1993, having previously worked for the weekly in Brussels, London, and Tokyo. He is the author of four books, including The Sun Also Sets: Why Japan Will Not Be Number One, and Japan's Global Reach: The Influence, Strategies, and Weakness of Japan's Multinational Corporations. He lives in London and Wiltshire, England with his wife.





    Available Formats and Book Details

    20:21 Vision

    Twentieth-Century Lessons for the Twenty-First Century

    Bill Emmott

    • e-Book