That Used to be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World it Invented and how We Can Come Back

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Thorndike Press, 2011 - Education - 695 pages
31 Reviews

America has a huge problem. It faces four major challenges, on which its future depends, and it is failing to meet them. In "That Used to Be Us," Thomas L. Friedman, one of our most influential columnists, and Michael Mandelbaum, one of our leading foreign policy thinkers, analyze those challenges--globalization, the revolution in information technology, the nation's chronic deficits, and its pattern of energy consumption--and spell out what we need to do "now" to rediscover America and rise to this moment.
They explain how the end of the cold war blinded the nation to the need to address these issues. They show how our history, when properly understood, provides the key to addressing them, and explain how the paralysis of our political system and the erosion of key American values have made it impossible for us to carry out the policies the country needs. They offer a way out of the trap into which the country has fallen, which includes the rediscovery of some of our most valuable traditions and the creation of a new, third-party movement. "That Used to Be Us" is both a searching exploration of the American condition today and a rousing manifesto for American renewal.
"As we were writing this book," Friedman and Mandelbaum explain, "we found that when we shared the title with people, they would often nod ruefully and ask: 'But does it have a happy ending?' Our answer is that we can write a happy ending, but it is up to the country--to all of us--to determine whether it is fiction or nonfiction. We need to study harder, save more, spend less, invest wisely, and get back to the formula that made us successful as a country in every previous historical turn. What we need is not novel or foreign, but values, priorities, and practices embedded in our history and culture, applied time and again to propel us forward as a country. That is all part of our past. That used to be us and can be again--if we will it."

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Review: That Used to Be Us

User Review  - Meredith Allard - Goodreads

I've been a fan of Tom Friedman's for some time now and I always enjoy watching him on talk shows. Along with Michael Mandelbaum, Friedman has written a book that is a great reminder of the strengths ... Read full review

Review: That Used to Be Us

User Review  - Graham Mumm - Goodreads

We're falling behind! We lost the American spirit! How do we get it back? Collective action and stronger political forces! More public investment and regulation! Forcing higher wages and enacting ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Journalist Thomas L. Friedman was born in 1953 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Friedman graduated from Brandeis University with a degree in Mediterranean Studies and earned a graduate degree from Oxford in Modern Middle East Studies. His reporting on the war in Lebanon won the George Polk Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and the Livingston Award for Young Journalists. He won a second Pulitzer for his work in Israel. Friedman began his career as a correspondent for United Press International and later served as bureau chief for the New York Times in Beirut and Jerusalem. He moved to the op-ed page of The New York Times as a foreign affairs columnist. In 2002, Friedman won his third Pulitzer Prize, this time for Commentary. Friedman wrote about his experiences as a Jewish-American reporter in the Middle East in From Beirut to Jerusalem, which won the National Book Award in 1989. The bestselling Lexus and the Olive Tree won the 2000 Overseas Press Club Award for best nonfiction book on foreign policy. He wrote Longitudes and Attitudes: Exploring the World After September 11 and The World Is Flat, which received the first Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award. His other works include Hot, Flat, and Crowded, Hot, Flat, and Crowded 2.0, and That Used to Be Us which made The New York Times Best Seller List for 2012.

Michael Mandelbaum is the Christian A. Herter Professor of American Foreign Policy at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University and director of the Project on East-West Relations for the Council on Foreign Relations. Mandelbaum has taught at Harvard University, Columbia University, and the U.S. Naval Academy. His book, The New Russian Foreign Policy, explores Russia's relations with the rest of the world after the fall of the Soviet Union. The Dawn of Peace in Europe outlines Europe in the post-cold-war era. His title with Thomas L. Friedman, That Used To Be Us, made The New York Times Best Seller List for 2012.

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