We live in a global era, in which what happens thousands of miles away has the ability to affect our lives. This time, it is Covid-19, which originated in a Chinese city many had never heard of but has spread to the corners of the earth. Next time it could be another infectious disease from somewhere else.
This is the new normal of the 21st century. We are connected to this world in all sorts of ways. So, we need to better understand it, both its promise and its threats, in order to make informed choices, be it as students, citizens, voters, parents, employees, or investors. The new book, "The World: A Brief Introduction," is designed to provide readers with the essential background and building blocks they need to make sense of this complicated and interconnected world.
Dr. Richard Haass is president of the Council on Foreign Relations. He served as the senior Middle East adviser to President George H. W. Bush, as director of the Policy Planning Staff under Secretary of State Colin Powell, and as the U.S. envoy to both the Cyprus and Northern Ireland peace talks.