Foundation by Isaac Asimov

Summary
  1. Gaal Dornick travels to the Galactic Empire’s capital to work with Hari Seldon on a branch of mathematics called psychohistory. Seldon predicts that the all powerful Galactic Empire will fall in three centuries, bringing with it a Dark Age
Key Takeaways
  1. The Encyclopedists – the mayor of the first Foundation, Salvor Hardin tries to convince his Board of Trustees that running the planet is more important than completing Seldon’s Encyclopedia Galactic. Hardin plans to overthrow the leadership when he receives a message from Seldon appears, revealing that the encyclopedia was a trick and Hardin has to take over the Foundation and fulfill Seldon’s real plan.
  2. The Mayors – a political group called the Action party has risen to power and is trying to impeach Hardin. Hardin outmaneuvers his enemies by convincing them that the Foundation’s religious group doesn’t support the war
  3. The Traders – Limmar Ponyets is sent to rescue Eskel Gorov and decides to trade gold instead of technology. He invents a transmutation machine and trades Eskel in exchange for the machine. Ponyets  recorded the exchange and blackmails Pherl into letting them walk away with treasures
  4. The Merchant Princes – Hober Mallow heads to Korell to investigate some missing ships but ends up establishing trade with the planet. After visiting Siwenna, Mallow returns to the Foundation, is tried for and cleared of the death of the religious missionary, and elected mayor. Korell later attacks the Foundation but Mallow anticipated this and made Korell so dependent on the Foundation that Korell’s economy collapses and the Foundation wins the war without even trying.
What I got out of it
  1. A brilliant, fun read which is hard to believe Asimov wrote up over 60 years ago