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Time To Start Thinking: America and the Spectre of Decline Hardcover – 3 Apr 2012

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown (3 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408702754
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408702758
  • Product Dimensions: 15.8 x 2.7 x 24.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 484,465 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Edward Luce paints a highly disturbing picture of the state of American society, and of the total failure of American elites to come to grips with the real problems facing the country. It rises far above the current political rhetoric by its measured reliance on facts rather than canned ideological posturing to reach its conclusions (Francis Fukuyama, author of The End of History and The Origins of Political Order)

Time To Start Thinking is not only a wonderful tapestry of the current state of America, it provides a deeply insightful narrative of the origins of our current economic and political malaise. Ed Luce is a brilliant reporter who has spoken to everyone: CEOs and members of the cabinet, lobbyists and small town mayors, recent MBAs and unemployed teachers. In his acutely observed, often witty and very humane portraits he succeeds in converting the abstractions of economics and bringing them to life. This is is a book that will transform the way you think of America (Liaquat Ahamed, author of Lords of Finance: 1929, The Great Depression and the Bankers Who Broke the World)

'This book should be read by anyone who has an interest in the future of America, from perplexed bystanders in Europe to panicking policy makers in the White House. It is an eye opening account of a great nation grappling with the probability but not the inevitability of decline, beautifully and clearly written by a veteran observer who dissects his complicated subject with a mixture of insight, empathy and wit. Luce avoids the twin traps of adulation or revulsion that stunt so many books about America. Time to Start Thinking is a welcome and timely invitation to do just that (Matt Frei, Washington Correspondent for Channel 4)

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

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Darmon on 4 Sept. 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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By m. dosa on 5 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback
interesting well researched book,took me a while to get into it but well worth it. america is declining its economics are a mishmash of historic,self serving and big business.one main indicator of wealth the middle class are working for less in houses that are not paid for and are falling in value.big business is over rewarded two thirds of subsidies go to the wealthiest 40 per cent of americans.poor pay for many whilst the ceo of walmart earns more in a month than one of his employees will in a lifetime.american industry is stagnating or is overseas. education especially science and engineering is failing whilst magnificent billionaires try to impose business solutions.and to top it all china is the next new kid on the block.
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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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