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Books

The Twilight of Sovereignty: How the Information Revolution Is Transforming Our World
by Walter Wriston

Walter B. Wriston, the former chairman of Citicorp, is among the most innovative financiers of our time. In The Twilight of Sovereignty, he lucidly reveals the vast geopolitical implications of the massive information revolution in progress around the globe.

Human intelligence and intellectual resources are now the world's prime capital, Wriston shows. Instant global communication--the marriage of satellites, television, fax, cellular telephones, and worldwide computer networks--has had and will continue to have world-shaking consequences. The fundamental results is that national boundaries are increasingly irrelevant, and the traditional power and perquisites of sovereignty are disappearing. The effect of this revolution, says Wriston, is the formation of a new global democratic order: "No matter what political leaders do or say, the screens will continue to light up, traders will trade, and currency values will continue to be set, not only by sovereign governments but by global plebiscite," he writes. Today, there can be no more unreported Chernobyl disasters. There can be no more Pearl Harbor-like surprises. The vast migrations on every continent; the drive of informed peoples for self-determination; the collapse of the Soviet empire; the democratization of Latin America; the outburst of ethnic rivalries-all become understandable in the challenging light of Wriston's persuasive analysis.

Wriston stresses that in the information revolution, technology itself is of secondary importance. His larger vision is of the transformation of our public and private institutions. Within the corporation, too, the twilight of sovereignty is near. The immediate and simultaneous availability of data to those at every level of authority within the corporation means that in today's business world, traditional executive power is ended. Looking to the future, Wriston outlines the new management philosophies and radically changed managerial structures that will follow the end of corporate centralization.

The Twilight of Sovereignty reaffirms Walter Wriston's statue as one of the most cogent thinkers of our time.

"The Twilight of Sovereignty" is an outstanding analysis of the impact of the information and technological revolution, particularly on foreign policy issues. The technological revolution, by leading information over, under, and across borders, has played an indispensable role in defeating communism and tyranny, for dictatorships require complete isolation to survive. The recent triumphs of democracy and freedom in the world occurred because ideas, carried by modern technology, broke the barriers. The Twilight of Sovereignty is a superb contribution affecting the real world."
--Richard Nixon

"Walter Wriston stimulates, educates, and excites in this original and perceptive exposition of the information and knowledge age and its profound impact on our daily lives and our traditional notions of sovereignty and the wealth of nations."
--George Shultz

"The instantaneous transmission of information will affect every aspect of life in the twenty-first century, not the least of which will be the conduct of foreign policy. Walter Wriston has written a fascinating and important book that no decision maker can afford to miss."
--Henry A. Kissinger

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