The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living since the Civil War
In the century after the Civil War, an economic revolution improved the American standard of living in ways previously unimaginable. Electric lighting, indoor plumbing, home appliances, motor vehicles, air travel, air conditioning, and television transformed households and workplaces. With medical advances, life expectancy between 1870 and 1970 grew from forty-five to seve...more
Robert Gordon would agree. His focus is more economic history than political journalism, but he says that the year 1970 signifies the end of the 'Special Century' of unparalleled economic growth. ...more
But nope. I thought this was totally excellent. A great and informative read, well-crafted, beautifully argued. The exploration of history, documentation of technological and economic evol ...more
I don't think there was one trend or quality of life improvement that the author sp ...more
Why did I give it 4 stars?
Let's start with why this book is a must-read. Gordon challenged many of my priors, but he presents extremely persuasive evidence and arguments for the idea that the century between 1870 and 1970 was one-of-a-kind and probably not reproducible any time soon.
The argument is incredibly important because it ought to shape our expectations for what the world will look like in 20 to 50 years. And that is a world that won't be very m ...more
The focus in Part I are products that once invented, create a storm of other inventions required to work around the first major advancement, in turn drastically improving the standard of living. His main direction revolve around this last point, that certain inventions drastically improved the lives of ordinary people. Inventions that improve people's ...more
From his calculation, growth for the next few decades will be very slo ...more
Although Gordon doesn't phrase it as such, the main thing I think he is fighting against in this book is the assumption that the economy is an ergodic system. Roughly speaking, t ...more
I have to help you understand:
This is 47 years worth of a man's life.
It is, conclusively, a summarization of what Robert Gordon has accomplished academically over the course of his life.
In that respect, it is monumental.
It's at least twice as long as it has any excuse to be. Especially due to frequent repetition, where most of the book just drives home how big a deal electricity/water/gas, roads, and most of all, r ...more
In short, Gordon's thesis is this; The period of Rapid American growth, starting i ...more
I gave two stars for the two semi-interesting tidbits of historical trivia that I'll be reciti ...more
"Is he right? [that we may not see the economic growth in the future that we have in the past] My answer is a definite maybe. But whether or not you end up agreeing with Gordon’s thesis, this is a book well worth reading — a magisterial co ...more
|Creative Reviews: Thoughtful review of Robert Gordon's new book The Rise and Fall of American Growth||1||9||Jan 29, 2016 10:48AM|
|Books, Blogs, Aut...: Thoughtful review of Robert Gordon's new book The Rise and Fall of American Growth||1||5||Jan 29, 2016 10:45AM|