"Bringing the Future to Your Industry"

Kirkus Reviews


Knoke, William


The Essential Road Map to

the Twenty-First Century

Kodansha (368 pp.)


Feb. 1996

ISBN: 1-56836-095-9



      An investment bankerís sophisticated audit of the geopolitical and socioeconomic forces that could shape the postmillennial world.


      Unlike many for-profit prophets, Knoke resists the temptation to present facts as forecasts.  Instead, he focuses on underestimated developments and already discernible trends that could determine the course of future events.  Given ongoing advances in the state of the telecommunications/computer art and continuous improvement in transport, for example, the author argues that planet Earth has acquired a fourth dimension, one that makes place appreciably less important than once was the case.  Employing this provocative premise as a starting point, he moves on to assert that capital, labor, and raw materials will play diminishing roles in the global economy during the years ahead.  In his view, the same holds true for central banks, depository institutions, gigantic corporations, and other mainstays of the past, including nation-states.  Among other outcomes, Knoke predicts the emergence of new organizational forms (e.g., multilocals rather than multinationals) with relatively small headquarters staffs, as increasing incidents of corporate spin-offs, the creation of more microstates (in Western Europe as well as in the erstwhile USSR), the spread of democracy, the redeployment of surplus workers.  The author also sees a host of other eventualities over the horizon.  Cases in point range from the challenges of terrorism, tribal conflict, and environmental degradation through the possibility that the WTO represents a first step toward world government, the likelihood the Global Villageís children will become a database (thanks to the Internet), and the possibility that Islamic fundamentalists may face the same fate as the Bolsheviks.


      Perceptive perspectives on what tomorrow might hold for the family of man and its commercial enterprises.  (Book-of-the Month Club/Quality Paperback Book Club selections; $100,000 ad/promo; author tour)


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