Scott Lupo's Reviews > That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back

That Used to Be Us by Thomas L. Friedman
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Oct 05, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction

Thank you to Mindy Kittay for suggesting this book. Overall, this is a really great book that outlines the challenges this nation faces along with solutions that the authors consider the pillars of American society. The four challenges the US faces, in the author's opinion, are globalization, the revolution in IT, our deficit, and our energy consumption. The solutions that the authors posit are investment in education, investment in R&D, building infrastructure, immigration, and regulation. They do a nice job of summarizing how the US got to this point in history, putting blame judiciously amongst all political persuasions. I generally agreed with their conclusions on both how we got to where we are today and what the potential solutions should be tomorrow because they actually use facts to construct their theories (I know, you're shocked aren't you?) I also was encouraged by their voice in this book. It was not accusatory in nature. They understand we are all in this together and that we have to make hard decisions to better the country regardless of faith, dogma, ideals, etc. I wasn't keen on their solution of shock therapy for our political system and I feel some of their allusions to how things used to be are romanticized (as we usually do when we try to remember how things were in the past). This is a good read for anybody who follows the state of our nation or would like a pragmatic view of the state of affairs we find ourselves in these days.
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