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The World We're In Hardcover – 2 May 2002


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown; First UK Edition edition (2 May 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316858714
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316858717
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.4 x 4.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,416,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

Written with typical passion and command of a battery of facts, Will Hutton's The World We're In is a fierce attack on the politics of Euroscepticism and US economic conservatism. Hutton has already established his credentials as one of the leading liberal economic thinkers on the British State with his bestselling The State We're In. In The World We're In he widens his focus to discuss the global economy and the fraught relations between the US and Europe in the aftermath of September 11.

Hutton argues that "if the rest of the world is not careful, our future will be to accept globalisation almost entirely on American conservative terms." He believes that the great tradition of liberalism in the US is in retreat, that "America is the most unequal society in the industrialised West", and that claims regarding its economic supremacy and efficiency have been hugely exaggerated. For Hutton, the future lies with the European Union's more inclusive and liberal approach towards politics and economics.

The book skilfully charts its way through the different historical, economic and philosophical approaches to land, law and profit that have defined the European and American traditions, concluding that Europe offers a better "scope within globalisation for different cultures and approaches to capitalism to flourish." For Hutton, this involves a philosophical belief in the existence of a civic society and a flourishing society, a "decentralised State, consensual labour relations" and a stakeholder ethos that America has always lacked. He admits that this "is a book for the idea of Europe", that also envisages the United Kingdom at the heart of Europe, not Washington. Marshalling an impressive array of economic data alongside an impassioned belief in radical democracy, The World We're In is an important addition to the urgent discussions regarding the world we want. --Jerry Brotton

Review

Written with typical passion and command of a battery of facts, Will Hutton's The World We're In is a fierce attack on the politics of Euroscepticism and US economic conservatism. Hutton has already established his credentials as one of the leading liberal economic thinkers on the British State with his bestselling The State We're In. In The World We're In he widens his focus to discuss the global economy and the fraught relations between the US and Europe in the aftermath of September 11. (Hutton argues that "if the rest of the world is not careful, our future will be to accept globalisation almost entirely on American conservative terms." He believes that the great tradition of liberalism in the US is in retreat, that "America is the most)

The book skilfully charts its way through the different historical, economic and philosophical approaches to land, law and profit that have defined the European and American traditions, concluding that Europe offers a better "scope within globalisation fo (Jerry Brotton)

a timely and forward-looking book...Hutton's powerful and flawlessly argued assertion is that to opt for dependence upon America is madness' - Independent on Sunday

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The idea of the public realm is in eclipse, and with it a conception of civilisation. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 Nov. 2002
Format: Hardcover
The title is a misnomer: it's really about the growing political and ideological divide between the USA and the EU, with a much useful debunking of right wing myths (including Third Way ones). Hutton's central argument is that Europe's post-war 'social democratic' consensus has produced a model of capitalism distinct from that of the US, and that Britain must finally choose. This is vintage Hutton, combining serious research, theoretically informed argument and an acute journalistic sense of timing and relevance. Worth having on your shelf for the bibliography alone. You may not agree with everything he says, but then that's the whole point!
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Fred Kotler on 12 Jun. 2003
Format: Paperback
This is an impressive book. Anyone interested in understanding, among other things, how and why the US has come under near complete corporate control during the last thirty years should read Hutton's analysis. It's first rate both in its depth and breath: social, cultural, political, financial and economic. As an American, I am very impressed by how well Hutton understands what's going on here. His view is more lucid - and more clearly and passionately presented - than just about anything I've seen by American writers. And I do hope UK readers will heed his advice to move British politics and culture away from US domination.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 May 2002
Format: Hardcover
...What Hutton gives us is an excellent analysis of some of the myths surrounding America's prosperity and some of the equally perverse myths surrounding Europe's alledged inefficiency. He gives the US it's due on a number of counts at several times in the past and the present but articulately argues from a historical point of view why the underlying values of the two continents are so different. It is these underlying values together with pragmatic economic good sense (supported by copious amounts of evidence) that should push Britain to the European side rather than dithering in between the two sides with no real foothold in either but a prononced lean towards the Atlantic.
...I would suggest this book is an antidote to the well travelled but seemingly baseless arguments of the right. You may not agree with him but you should at least listen to the arguments that have rarely been so well articulated.
Finally... it is well accepted that a trade deficit puts your economy in a precarious position. Since Hutton is trying to say that the US is in such a position, it seems a reasonable point to make.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Permjot on 26 Jun. 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a very well written and very well argued book.There are times when I think that the author is naive in his analysis. For example his attack on the US pursuing its own agenda, seems simplistic at times.
I did think he should have looked at the peculiar roots of British Finance (from the days of the Empire)as a cause of the strength of the City, rather than suggest it is to do with the shareholder value craze. He should also recognise that the shareholder value concept helped to explain that mergers did not work - and was the death knell of many conglomerates.
These points though seem petty - the book was an excellent read and it gives those who do not sit at ease with the conservative economic orthodoxy genuine counter arguments. Will Hutton has managed to show how economic institutions and theories effect our everyday life in a very powerful and often damning manner.
His biggest achievement is to put the New labour praise of Thatcherism and 'Flexibilty' in its right place. In this book he is the boy who tells us that the Emperor is wearing no clothes!
Fantastic book and very happy to urge people to read it.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mr. T. Lewis on 5 July 2002
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed this book - the analysis is interesting and as a counterbalance to US imperealism its arguments are compelling. I thought his observation that UK politicians (all parties) were importing wholesale US policies without any regard to the fact that we are a much smaller and have a much more one nation view of social welfare both interesting and correct. Similarly his argument for the UK's entry into the Euro was interesting.
What the booked lacked though was that Britain's place in the World is more than just a straight choice between Europe and the US. Britain's may be euro eurosceptic not just because of our relative economic values - but also because we view ourselves as a World trading nation. The book gave no analysis of our role in the Commonwealth - do we at the very least have some influence in terms of development of these countries.
At the same time the US analysis seemed one sided - US influence extends through Asia, Central and Latin America etc - again this was not menetioned.
Perhaps a better title for the book is The Trans atlantic divide we are in - not the World we're in.
A thought provoking and interesting read nevertheless.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Neil Rose on 19 May 2002
Format: Hardcover
Cannot fault Will Hutton for ambition. His analysis is detailed and wide ranging. He cannot just be dismissed as Anti-American as he elucidates many times his admiration for much of US economic and technological achievement.
Clearly, this book will be hated by the right, and anyone in the US or UK who supports the neo-liberal "washington consensus".
His description of the political/economic processes that have driven the washington consensus over the last 30 years is excellent, and much of his material uses US sources.
Hutton does not hide his disdain for neo-liberal economics, or the "chicago school", and he raises questions about the prevailing orthodoxy and ideology of the concensus that drives most international financial institutions. But his personal position is made open and clear, and the purpose of the book is to drive forward debate in europe and particularly the UK. In this the book succeeds.
His contention, backed by prodigious evidence, is that the UK national interest is more aligned with europe than with the US, and future economic and political developments are likely to make it increasingly necessary for the UK to understand that its culture and history is tied to europe, and the "idea of europe".
Hutton's description of the historical and cultural roots of europe's "social contract" is thought provoking, and even historians will find this interesting and informative. He shows how the UK is far closer to this conception politically and culturally than the prevailing consensus now driving political economy in the US.
There is much to think about in this book. It is well worth reading as much for its accessible style as for the importance of its subject matter.
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