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Time to Start Thinking: America in the Age of Descent Paperback – 25 Apr 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Press (25 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802121438
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802121431
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 13.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,810,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"[Luce] knows the country well, and he wishes it well too. A result is that he leavens his yearning for smarter, more nimble government with a realism not always found among Europeans . . . Luce is a good writer with a vacuum-cleaner for a notebook. His book could not be bettered as a compendium of American problems, at least as filtered through the center-left sensibilities of a pro-American European. . . . "Time to Start Thinking" raises the right questions at the right moment, which is what books are supposed to do. It deserves an audience in America. And I wouldn't be surprised, too, if it ends up stacked on the best-seller tables in China."--"The New York Times Book Review"
"Superb reporting of the on-ground reality of America's current economic crisis . . . an unflinchingly brave book. Luce does not shy away from conclusions that are hard for many Americans to hear, not does he cop out and offer up the happy ending many in his audience may want to read. Rather, he offers what is most needed now: an objective profoundly thoughtful look at the underpinnings of America's economic troubles, what makes the current crisis different from the past, and where we are likely headed from here."--"Foreign Policy"
"Carefully balanced and often startlingly evocative analysis and reportage . . . It is true that there have been serious errors in policy. Luce, formerly the "Financial Times"'s south Asia bureau chief based in New Delhi and now the paper's chief Washington correspondent, spells out these exercises in self-damage in painful and illuminating detail."--"The Guardian"
"The book is not simply a laundry list of present-day policy failures (of which there have been many) but as hinted at by the title of a political system that's stopped constructively engaging with policy challenges. . . . It's time to start thinking."--Slate.com
"From the FT's chief Washington correspondent, this gloomy but absorbing view of US prospects combines interviewsn

Book Description

The age of American global dominance is over. This brilliant new book from one of the FT's most senior writers shows how it ended and where the US needs to turn to prevent the crisis from deepening further. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Darmon on 4 Sep 2012
Format: Hardcover
Luce has written a very interesting and convincing case about America's decline. He examines differents themes that are associated with this situation :
- the vanishing middle class
- education
- Innovation
- Government and politics covers the last three chapters (almost half of the book)

To me, the most alarming issue was innovation, nevertheless the situation is not better with respect to the other topics.

Many books have been written about america's decline - most have been written before it was even a possibility - nevertheless, I feel the topics covered was right on the spot and very well documented. The analysis of the "tea party" movement and washington bureacracy are also very interesting - I believe especially for europeans.

If america's decline is a "lieu commun" for many people, its impacts threaten to be much more significant than the emergence of china, as The Kagan recent - and advised - "the World America Made" makes obvious.

The "olsonian nightmare" is the key explanation that Luce provides : Mancur Olson, the brilliant swedish economist that analysed the effect of vested interests on the economy (in his case, vested interests, were trade-unions in the UK). For Luce, Vested interests are dominating the politics and its inertia seem to be the dominant force ...

The book is not perfect :
- luce point repeatedly to the fact that Chinan invest huge amounts in infrastructure and america is not, as an example of decline but who said they need to invest the same % of GDP. America's infrastructure are far from perfect but China starts from a much lower point
- Also one might have the feeling that when interviewing people, the only question is "what"s bad in here ?
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Fang on 8 April 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Just as elegantly written and easily readable as his book on India, Luce provides here a cohesive, well researched analysis of the key factors that have resulted in the U.S. losing power, influence and prosperity. Luce is both well and broadly connected and open- minded, seemingly without the burden of political agenda that so often makes the lens of other writers within the same realm less incisive.
A must-read also for U.K. citizens, as so many detrimental aspects of poltical/social/financial/educational issues raised in this book equally apply to what is increasingly evident here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Agedone on 16 Nov 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After I heard the author speak on the radio, I ordered this fascinating book immediately, and it lived up to my expectations in every way. The author has used his many insider contacts to create a brilliant insight into the state of the USA today - and it is a depressing, not to say worrying one at that.If you suspect that the USA is in decline it will confirm your fears, and if you know little about their system it will open your eyes. The book is written in a very accessible style - thoroughly recommended as an absorbing read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M.C. on 7 July 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Unlike many books about the US, this book comes without an agenda. It is meticulously researched and very imformative. I would urge anybody to read this book, not least, American policy makers themselves.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Brennan on 14 Jun 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This ia a thought provoking and excellently written book which certainly highlighted new facts for me. The relative powerlessness of the US President was an eye opener as was the major lack of social mobility in the USA. The thematic approach education, government, innovation makes it easy to dip in and out of the work but I completed it in just three sittings finding it enthralling. A few words of caution it does feel that people have been writing off the USA for a long time. It does also make you long for a few more balancing facts. However as a well written polemic it is an excellent book and highly recommmended.
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By Mike B on 11 May 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well written by a professional and experienced commentator on the U.S.A. this book sets out a convincing case for the Americans to look critically at their great country.
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