That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Sep 5, 2011 - Political Science - 400 pages
30 Reviews

America is in trouble. We face four major challenges on which our future depends, and we are failing to meet them—and if we delay any longer, soon it will be too late for us to pass along the American dream to future generations.
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, offer both a wake-up call and a call to collective action. They analyze the four challenges we face—globalization, the revolution in information technology, the nation's chronic deficits, and our pattern of excessive energy consumption—and spell out what we need to do now to sustain the American dream and preserve American power in the world. They explain how the end of the Cold War blinded the nation to the need to address these issues seriously, and how China's educational successes, industrial might, and technological prowess remind us of the ways in which "that used to be us." They 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 urgently needs.
And yet Friedman and Mandelbaum believe that the recovery of American greatness is within reach. They show how America's history, when properly understood, offers a five-part formula for prosperity that will enable us to cope successfully with the challenges we face. They offer vivid profiles of individuals who have not lost sight of the American habits of bold thought and dramatic action. They propose a clear way out of the trap into which the country has fallen, a way that includes the rediscovery of some of our most vital traditions and the creation of a new thirdparty movement to galvanize the country.
That Used to Be Us is both a searching exploration of the American condition today and a rousing manifesto for American renewal.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Razinha - LibraryThing

Good summary of what's gone wrong and mostly non-partisan in the blame (they rightly key on Republican fiscal myths and failures, but also pull no punches with Democrats weaknesses), though anyone ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Darwa - LibraryThing

Well thought out overview of the state of our economy and our ability to compete and maintain in the global economy. The authors have several thought provoking observations about how we fell behind and what we need to do to pick ourselves us by the boot straps and get back in the game. Read full review

Contents

PART II THE EDUCATION CHALLENGE
51
PART III THE WAR ON MATH AND PHYSICS
153
PART IV POLITICAL FAILURE
213
PART V REDISCOVERING AMERICA
295
Acknowledgments
359
Index
361
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About the author (2011)

Thomas L. Friedman is an internationally renowned author, reporter, and columnist—the recipient of three Pulitzer Prizes and the author of several bestselling and award winning books, among them From Beirut to Jerusalem, The World Is Flat, Thank You for Being Late and Hot, Flat, and Crowded.

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