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The Fix: How Nations Survive and Thrive in a World in Decline

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A provocative look at the world's most difficult, seemingly ineradicable problems—and the surprising stories of the countries that solved them.
We all know the bad news. The heady promise of the Arab Spring has given way to repression, civil war, and an epic refugee crisis. Economic growth is sputtering. Income inequality is rising around the world. And the threat of ISIS and other extremist groups keeps spreading. We are living in an age of unprecedented, irreversible decline—or so we’re constantly being told.
        Jonathan Tepperman’s The Fix presents a very different picture. The book reveals the often-overlooked good news stories, offering a provocative, unconventional take on the answers hiding in plain sight. It identifies ten pervasive and seemingly impossible challenges—including immigration reform, economic stagnation, political gridlock, corruption, and Islamic terrorism—and shows that, contrary to the general consensus, each has a solution, and not merely a hypothetical one. In his close analysis of government initiatives as diverse as Brazil’s Bolsa Família program, Indonesia’s campaign against extremism, Canada’s early embrace of multiculturalism, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s reform of the NYPD, Tepperman isolates the universally applicable measures that have can boost and buttress equality, incomes, cooperation, and cohesion in wildly diverse societies. He flips conventional political wisdom on its head, showing, for example, how much the U.S. Congress could learn about compromise and conciliation from its counterpart in Mexico.
        Tepperman has traveled the world to write this book, conducting more than a hundred interviews with the heads of state and other innovators responsible for these unexpected success stories. His access and expertise make The Fix a work of unusual insight, focused on the people and leadership lessons behind the policies. Meticulously researched and deeply reported, it presents practical advice for aspiring problem-solvers of all stripes, and stands as a necessary corrective to the hand-wringing and grim prognostication that dominates the news these days, making a data-driven case for optimism in a time of crushing pessimism.

From the Hardcover edition.

320 pages, ebook

First published September 20, 2016

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About the author

Jonathan Tepperman

10 books39 followers
Jonathan Tepperman is a journalist and author. He is currently the Managing Editor of Foreign Affairs magazine.

Born and raised in Canada, Tepperman started his career in foreign policy in the mid-1990s, working as a speechwriter for a US ambassador. He then spent time as a foreign correspondent before joining Foreign Affairs as a junior editor in 1998. A few years later, he moved to Newsweek, where he was deputy editor of the international edition. After a short stint as a political risk consultant, he returned to Foreign Affairs in 2011.

Tepperman has written for a long list of publications, including Foreign Affairs, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic and others, on subjects ranging from international affairs to books to municipal politics to food.

He has interviewed more than a dozen world leaders, including Syria's Bashar al-Assad, Japan's Shinzo Abe, Brazil's Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Mexico's Enrique Peña Nieto, Indonesia's Joko Widodo, and Rwanda's Paul Kagame.

He is the the author of The Fix: How Nations Survive and Thrive in a World in Decline (Crown, 2016) and the coeditor of The U.S. vs. al Qaeda (2011), Iran and the Bomb (2012), and The Clash of Ideas (2012).

Tepperman has a BA in English from Yale, an MA in law from Oxford, and an LLM in law from New York University. He is vice chairman of the Halifax International Security Forum, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a fellow of the New York Institute of Humanities. Born and raised in Canada, he now lives in Brooklyn with his family.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 134 reviews
Profile Image for Nick Jones.
279 reviews12 followers
October 5, 2016
I received a copy of this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways.

The subtitle of this book is a bit misleading, in that The Fix suggests itself to be How Nations Survive and Thrive in a World in Decline; however, a more accurate subtitle would have been Ten Stories About How Nine Nations and One City Managed to Overcome Specific Challenges. It's an important distinction, because while author Jonathan Tepperman seems extremely sold on the idea that particular nations' (and one particular city's) solutions to the challenges facing them can be generalized to other nations (and cities), they seem to be such products of their times, locations, and involved people that the book reads more like a series of interesting case studies rather than a roadmap (or GPS, for any kids reading this) to solving problems elsewhere.

There's also a bit of an issue with Tepperman's blind spots. He's obviously enthusiastic about certain ideas, but doesn't always think through the potential consequences of the policies he lauds. Canada's immigration system is held up as creating a multicultural paradise, but the chapter doesn't seem to recognize the downsides. Canada's immigrants are better educated, tend to earn significantly more, and are given numerous perks for immigrating that native-born Canadians don't have access to; yet, doesn't that imply that Canadians by birth are essentially being treated as a less desirable underclass? They don't seem to mind, but the chapter also lays out how propaganda has been used to convince Canadian citizens that tolerance, multiculturalism, and immigration are an essential part of the country's identity, which would make people less willing to consider their less cheerful aspects. It struck me as rather insidious, but Tipperman doesn't even consider the potential negative implications. Extremism is another area where obvious objections go unaddressed. Tipperman espouses the notion that extremists should be allowed to gain power in some cases, solely under the notion that they will fail and people will subsequently turn against them. It's the "give them just enough rope to hang themselves with" argument, but as failure isn't a sure thing the result of giving extremists rope could easily be their tying you up and throwing you headfirst off of a building instead.

The nations (and one city) in The Fix seem to be a handful of exceptional people in unusual situations tackling problems against all odds, and if that's what you want to read about then you'll likely enjoy it. As a prescriptive tool for the subtitular nations in decline, it seems to overestimate the universality of the solutions, and the author's biases seemed to create a slew of questions and concerns that go unaddressed.
Profile Image for Daniel Clausen.
Author 11 books458 followers
February 10, 2017
I read this book (and watched Tepperman's talk for the Council on Foreign Relations) as a counterpoint to Randall L. Schweller's "Age of Entropy" theory. I tend to be more in the mindset of Schweller's age of Entropy these days. That is to say, I tend to be easily persuaded that global trends in politics, information technology, and economics are making the world less governable, more extremist, and problems less-solvable. I also tend to think (but hope otherwise) that the world is devolving.

Tepperman's book is, as advertised, one of optimism -- but it is also refreshingly divorced of big ideology or theory. Some people right now are looking for that next "big thing." But I tend to think that the best approach for both scholars and practitioners is to look at small and mid-sized solutions and to ask whether and how these solutions can be scaled-up.

Tepperman does that, and in doing so, tends to verify ideas that I've found in other great books in the last few years (see Richard Rumelt's Good Strategy / Bad Strategy and Nassim Nicholas Taleb's AntiFragile). These lessons are -- empiricism, trial and error, and pragmatism.

More importantly, this books doesn't argue that the forces of entropy aren't upon us. This point is important because it means that thoughtful people are coming to similar conclusions about what is going wrong with the world (even if they can't imagine scaleable solutions yet).

To invoke the word "scaleable" might be to point readers of this review on the wrong track. Perhaps it is best to study local for the time being and not to get one's hopes up about large-scale, one-size fits all solutions. My own thinking though is that a ruthless approach to the small and mid-level theory will eventually invite ethical large-scale solutions naturally.

For now, we just need to keep our eyes open.
Profile Image for Guillermo  .
80 reviews80 followers
February 7, 2017

The Fix is a collection of case studies detailing how some countries were able to overcome challenges that seemed to be insurmountable. From the poverty stricken favelas of Brazil to the fertile garden of Islamic radicalism that should've, but never really strangled Indonesia, this is a book of good news success stories. Case studies include Brazil, Canada, Indonesia, Rwanda, Singapore, Botswana, South Korea, Mexico, and the United States. Who are the protagonists of this feel-good book? Courageous innovative leaders and intelligent policy.

Highly recommended to anyone interested in politics or global affairs, or just interested in learning a little more about our world. I would love to see this on an International Relations curriculum, but don't let that fool you into thinking this is a dry academic exercise. Tepperman keeps it very interesting and easy to follow. Best thing is, if you're not feeling a particular chapter you can just skip ahead since each chapter is a self contained case study on a particular country and the situation they overcame. But honestly, every study was so captivating that even the ones I thought I might skip from looking at the table of contents, I ended up reading and enjoying.

Thank you Netgalley for the free copy. Truly enjoyed this one and hope others will be interested in reading it and find it as rewarding and enlightening as I did.
Profile Image for عبدالرحمن عقاب.
680 reviews764 followers
August 16, 2022
قصص من واقعٍ صنعه زعماء متميزون في سياق واقع عالمي فاسد ورديء. أراد الكاتب من تلك القصص عرض جوانب مضيئة في الظلمة، وحاول استخلاص بعض الأفكار أو القوانين لتحقيق مثل تلك الإصلاحات.
من الجميل في الكتاب ما كان يورده الكاتب من سلبيات ما زالت تُسجّل ضد ذلك النظام أو الزعيم الذي امتدح إنجازاته.
يعرض الكتاب لقصة المصلح والإصلاح في سياق تاريخي، يعين المهتم على دراسة الظرف الذي يمكن أن يكون الدافع لتشكّل تلك الحالة أو الشخصية الإصلاحية. مما يحرّر القصة من أسر "البطولة" الفردية.
Profile Image for Tomek Helbin.
45 reviews2 followers
June 9, 2017
There is no over-arching theory or grand strategy in these 9 success stories in public policy from around the world, but a strong showcase for the power of ingenious pragmatism. A very good read.
Profile Image for الشناوي محمد جبر.
1,169 reviews267 followers
September 29, 2022
عشر فصول عن عشر دول استطاعت اجتياز عشر أزمات لم يستطع غيرهم اجتيازها كما اجتازوها، وهذه الأزمات تتسم بالعالمية؛ لأن الكثير من الدول أو أغلب الدول تعاني منها، لكن من وقع في واحدة منها سقط غالبا ول م يستطع القيام من مكانه.
من هذه المشكلات: العدالة الاجتماعية؟، والنموذج المثالي لهذه الأزمة كانت البرازيل، استطاعت توزيع الدخل بصور عادلة استطاعت من خلالها تقريب المسافة بين الفقراء والاغنياء قدر المستطاع.
أزمة عالمية أخري كالهجرة والنموذج المثالي هنا هو كندا، الأزمة الثالثة هي احتواء المتعصبين الدينيين والإسلاميين تحديدا وهو ما استطاعت إندونيسيا أن تحقق في النموذج الأمثل، والنموذج الرابع هو رواندا بعد ان استطاعت تجاوز أزمة الصراع بين الهوتو والتوتسي، وهكذا من خلال عشر تجارب نجاح هي موضوع هذا الكتاب يشرخ المؤلف لماذا استطاعوا البقاء في عالم لم يعد يسمح لغير القادرين بالبقاء.
Profile Image for Stratos.
869 reviews86 followers
July 11, 2017
Όταν υπάρχουν λύσεις στα προβλήματα. Διότι λύσεις υπάρχουν. Οι πολιτικοί μας λείπουν προκειμένου να μας οδηγήσουν στο δρόμο της επίλυσης των. Το βιβλίο παίρνοντας υπόψη δέκα περιπτώσεις σε όλο τον πλανήτη, μας μεταφέρει σε κράτη αλλά και σε έναν δήμο, όπου έτυχε να κυβερνηθούν από πολιτικούς που ξεπέρασαν την ίδια την κοινωνία. Την οδήγησαν σε νέους δρόμους επιλύοντας τα ιδιαίτερα προβλήματα της κάθε περίπτωσης. Πρέπει να διαβαστεί απ΄ όσους ασχολούνται με τα κοινά. Και θα τους βοηθήσεις αλλά και θα τους δώσει ιδέες για έναν διαφορετικό τρόπο με τον οποίο πολιτεύονται. Όσο για μας τους πολίτες, απλώς θα συνεχίσουμε να τους ψάχνουμε στην αποστεωμένη από τον συνεχή ψεκασμό του λαϊκισμού, ελληνική κοινωνία....
Profile Image for David.
652 reviews238 followers
August 26, 2016
In this book, a variety of powerful people, many of whom are unsaintlike, successfully tackle seemingly intractable problems, with the result of the world being a better place. It sometimes (but not always) turns out that the creative thinking, courageous decision-making, etc., that are required to solve difficult problems grow not from the Gandhi-like altruistic concern for the general welfare of the world, or even part of it, but from baser motives, like a desire to win enough popularity for long enough to divert the public attention, at least temporarily, from systematic looting of the public treasury and/or grubby accumulation of power and money for its own sake and/or other unpleasant manifestations of political business-as-usual. That's too bad, but still the original formerly-intractable situation ends up being better (often with the result that, for example, fewer people are in poverty or danger) than previously.

The moral seems to be: accept that politicians (incl. those we disagree with) can come up with solutions to problems, so proposed solutions from all sides need to be evaluated on their own merits and not on the basis of their originators. I propose a further moral, which is, if a politician comes up with a great solution to a problem on (say) October 16, on October 17 you, me, and the rest of the public should be back up in the grill of the very same politician as if nothing ever happened. Politicians who believe this lack of gratitude to be unfair can be invited to find other employment.

This book has something to annoy everyone – righties can get their foundation garments in a half-Windsor over the direct distribution of money to the poor while lefties can do the same when the author says there is “mounting evidence that fracking can be done safely” (Kindle location 2499). But I think the main thesis – that there is a “data-driven case for optimism” (location 38) – is proven. The author can be praised for hanging his posterior out there in the service of an unfashionable opinion, because, surely as some attention-seeking consultant will soon appear on major news programs to tell us that the Zika virus is the end of the world, a load of carping soreheads can, and will, give Tepperman's rump a good swift kick.

This book is also easy and fun to read (just to be clear, not condescension, but a genuine complement).

I have been known to enjoy engaging in sorehead carping myself, since it is one of life's simple and inexpensive pleasures. In this case, I would like to take exception with the following sentence (location 1133): Today fewer Indonesian Muslims think their state should adopt sharia (Islamic law) that do the citizens of Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Malaysia, or Pakistan. I will spare you the tedious research and arithmetic I did to satisfy myself this is incorrect. Instead, I will simply state that the sentence should read: Today a smaller percentage of Indonesian Muslims think their state should adopt sharia (Islamic law) that do the Muslims of Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Malaysia, or Pakistan. Since I read an electronic galley copy of the book, I live in hope that someone, somewhere may notice this error and correct it.

Thanks to Penguin Random House and Netgalley for an uncorrected advance electronic copy of this book.
Profile Image for Ha-Linh.
87 reviews409 followers
December 21, 2020
10 câu chuyện lẻ của 9 quốc gia và 1 thành phố đối mặt với các vấn đề của mình một cách có thể gọi là thành công, nhưng cũng là bài học cho những nước khác có thể học tập theo. Các vấn đề trải khắp từ đói nghèo, sắc tộc, nhập cư, khủng bố, hoà giải dân tộc. Mỗi câu chuyện khoảng 20 trang, đọc giống như một bài báo dài với khá nhiều thông tin chi tiết. Có những sáng kiến, cách giải quyết rất sáng tạo, thực sự thú vị. Nhưng có một điểm trừ là không có những đúc kết mang tính tổng quát hoá cho những thành công này, hầu hết nó phụ thuộc vào thời thế, con người lãnh đạo, tại thời điểm đó.
Profile Image for serprex.
138 reviews3 followers
September 21, 2017
Well written, concise, varied. Good amount of history

However the devil's in the details. Marked a number of strawman fallacies in the introduction, data came off as selective at times, the stat about hedge fund income vs kindergarten teachers didn't include numbers, looked up & it ballparks that the top 25 hedge fund managers make ~330M salary. High stakes will fit a power law. At some point in the Singapore corruption chapter it mentions bribing the ambulance for a ride, checked reference, it's some news story, so this sentence made what appears to be an isolated or at least rare occurence come off as normal. Flipping through the references the sources do come off as weak, the other day I read some article that attributed to Steinetz the story about fixing some machine with with a wack of a hammer & giving some large bill for knowing where to hit the hammer. There's no first hand account of this, but they wrote it up like fact. So I don't think CNN.com should be in one's references

Also I found the use of the word jihad sprinkled throughout unnerving. A jihad is a noble struggle. Oh well, let the media redefine everything, like 'hacker'

Yet the author paints a wide brush in saying anyone against fracking has fallen into a media spin story & that fracking is a totally ecologically viable source of energy. Being better than coal isn't good enough
Profile Image for Nick Argiriou.
122 reviews14 followers
July 13, 2017
Εξαιρετικό βιβλίο. Περιγράφει πως έλυσαν συγκεκριμένα ζητήματα κάποιες χώρες (πχ μεταναστευτικό ο Καναδάς, διαφθορά η Σιγκαπούρη, πολτική αστάθεια το Μεξικό, το θέμα του σχιστολίθου στις ΗΠΑ, εγκληματικότητα η πολιτεία της Νέας Υόρκης κλπ).
Το βιβλίο αποπνέει αισιοδοξία και το γενικότερο μήνυμα είναι, όπου υπάρχει θέληση, όλα μπορεί να τα κάνει ο άνθρωπος και μάλιστα με ποικίλους τρόπους και αυτό είναι δυνατόν και σε τελείως διαφορετικούς χαρακτήρες, πχ κάποιος είναι οξύθυμος, άλλος εσωστρεφής, άλλος φιλόδοξος και άλλος όχι και τόσο και χαμηλών τόνων.
Τελειώνω με κάτι άσχετο (που δεν ξέρω καν αν το γράφει σε αυτό το βιβλίο). Οι μεγάλες αλλαγές δεν έγιναν ούτε λόγω των μεγάλων προσωπικοτήτων ούτε των βίαιων μεγάλων επαναστάσεων, οι μεγαλύτερες αλλαγές έγιναν επειδή ένα σύνολο ανθρώπων άλλαξαν νοοτροπία.
Profile Image for Mohand Genaidy.
38 reviews4 followers
August 24, 2022
كتاب يستعرض عدداً من الحلول الغير تقليدية، التي قدمها زعماء غير تقليديين، في ظل ظروف غير تقليدية. يشير الكاتب إلى أنه مهما كانت مشكلة بلد ما عويصة، فمن خلال العمل الجاد والتفكير خارج الصندوق، مع بعض البراجماتية يمكن لهذا البلد أن يتخطى تلك المشاكل.

كتاب رائع وترجمته جيدة للغاية.
14 reviews3 followers
August 10, 2016
I got this book as part of a giveaway from Goodreads.

This book is a remarkably poorly written compilation of neoliberal half-solutions. In classic journalistic style, Tepperman includes unnecessary biographical information to add fluff to an otherwise sparse argument. I don't disagree with every proposal - he includes basic income and open immigration laws - but digging into one case to validate each proposal is a fool's errand. Some chapters, like the one on Botswana avoiding the resource curse, are just haphazard mishmashes of economic history. And in traditional neoliberal fashion, most involve a country realizing it needed to cut down on "red tape," "relax" labor laws, and "trim" burgeoning state-owned industry.

This gets an extra star just because it has a lot of useless interesting factoids that you could drop at a cocktail party. But like with most of the field of international relations, don't expect any rigorous scholarship.
Profile Image for Warren Benton.
499 reviews19 followers
December 29, 2016
Most immigrants are ambitious are hardworking - you'd half to be to uproot yourself and your family and transport them halfway around the world.

Brazil just didn't give out foodstamps but gave families money to keep their kids in school. The president saw how children were being pulled from school and made to work. This continues low education and carries on the cycle. The president wanted to break the cycle by helping make the next generation even more employable.

Similar to Gladwell. Tepperman likes to get the back story for whatever world-changing event is happening. He doesn't just settle for face value, he gives us how and why things changed the way they did.

This book discusses Brazil, Canada, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, and even discusses shale oil harvesting in the US and how China has not quite caught up to the US techniques. This book gives an overview on how each of these countries made changes and how most have been positively affected.
Profile Image for Felicia.
175 reviews
November 8, 2017
“The failure of others to act is no excuse for one’s own inaction, and that during difficult times, leaders—if they really hope to lead—must be ready to act alone, no matter the consequences.”

I found the book insightful and enjoyed most of the 10 case studies presented - in particular the ones featuring Brazil, Rwanda, Botswana, Indonesia and New York. A lot of it, as highlighted by the book, was circumstantial—born out of crisis—but more importantly underpinning these “successes”, limited as some of them are, are leaders who have the ruthless determination to see things through. These kinds of leaders are rare which makes me doubt how likely anything can be applied without a singular determined and visionary leader - most countries (and companies) are run by bureaucracies, not leaders, making such successes hard to duplicate. BUT if one follows the book, perhaps when things get so bad as to reach crisis point, such a leader will rise from the ashes.
Profile Image for mary odianjo.
24 reviews
October 2, 2016
suggested for aspiring leaders and those already leading

This book gives practical examples of how issues such as poverty, insecurity and other governance related problems were tackled with a r e verifiable examples. Canada's successful immigration policy, Brazil's attempt to reduce poverty, Singapore's journey away from corruption, Indonesia's struggle with fundamentalism and the United States' pursuit of alternative to energy sources underscore the point that good policies need leaders who are determined to do what is required to achieve success. Leaders who are ready to break boundaries or ignore them.
Profile Image for Nancy Mills.
394 reviews27 followers
August 3, 2018
Kind of interesting. Definitely allows a more optimistic perspective than the news we are constantly bombarded with about how bad everything is getting.
Not impressed with the very beginning of the book where the author marks himself as biased in the leftward direction, with the usual snarky remarks to the effect of "how could Americans be such stupid cretins as to elect a president like Trump" etc. etc., which totally misses the point that, in our case, whatever strategies our government had been using was NOT working for US.
The politicians exalted in the book, in many cases, probably in the beginning of their terms had the same sort of derisive comments directed at them. Ironic.
813 reviews2 followers
January 25, 2019
This is a very readable book. The ten examples cited are very different except that they were all deemed unsolveable problems. Ingenuity and dedication can achieve so much. I read this along with my son for his economics class. We had some good discussions before he prepared his paper for submission.. I'm looking forward to his book study for this term.
Profile Image for Denise.
78 reviews14 followers
August 12, 2017
I found it to be an easy and interesting read, considering the subjects tackled. Tepperman's optimism is welcome, especially when it includes solutions. He's done the work, traveled for interviews and this book is a great way to report back.
Profile Image for Mbogo J.
397 reviews27 followers
March 6, 2018
As I was finishing up this book, China quietly slid into a dictatorship(the review is written in March 2018) Donald's White House is hemorrhaging staff and off course Putin does not think he is going to die so he has not bothered to appoint successors or even lay ground for a succession plan. If that is not depressing enough I am sure climate science has another trove of grim data to further pall the mood... Against such a background it is understandable why I was drawn to this book.

Tepperman tried his best to fashion out ten good examples of governance for the benefit of the people. The leaders reviewed, the likes of Lula, Kagame , Singapore's Lee among others were confronted with real problems and they rose up to the challenge. Yeah, it is not always a different shade of bad leaders, there are some who actually do a good job. A read through should inspire some optimism in the current state of the world which is in total disarray.

Despite its lofty goal, I have a few qualms with the book. Tepperman went for the salesman approach where he puffed up the benefits of the policy under review and only in the last few paragraphs did he reveal the negative effects kind of how the negative side effects of drugs are revealed in small print when the reader/buyer has already bought the main narrative. I couldn't also help but notice that most leaders singled out for praise were either voted out in the next election or left office with approval ratings resembling inflation rates(the good kind of inflation)... Such is the world of governance and we cannot pin the blame of world ills on Tepperman, he was just trying to bring a ray of light in a dark world. At least he tried and showed that even though on a macro scale the world might be on a slow march to nightfall, on a micro level good people rise up to do what is right.
Profile Image for Hanna.
358 reviews3 followers
January 18, 2022
Cool concept, but….

From the title and blurp, I expected climate change to be on the list of “pervasive and seemingly impossible challenges” that have been overcome in some form or other by a specific country. There must be a country that has figured out how to take real climate action that benefits the people and the economy as well? There probably are some good examples, but Tepperman apparently doesn’t think it a priority. That becomes painfully obvious in the chapter on fracking.

He’s a fan, raving about the economic benefits the shale gas and oil has brought the US. I am not challenging this part. What I am certainly challenging is the way in which Tepperman ridicules any concern about risks and looks down on Europe for its opposition to fracking. He also declares that gas (and oil?) is an environmentally friendly alternative to coal. He’s basically the guy who trades in his 1990 truck for a 2005 models and claims to be environmentally friendly “because it’s much more efficient”. If Tepperman featured in “Don’t look up”, he’d laude the US government for the smart tackling of the Asteroid situation and berate Europe for their reluctance to make use of this exciting economic opportunity.

So on his climate awareness and, I’ll have to give him a 0/5. I wondered why the chapter was in there at all - it is not referenced in the conclusion with its summary of lessons and I really don’t know what problem it was supposed to be solving. Clean drinking wells? Wind parks in behind your house?

The rest of the book was interesting, I especially enjoyed the chapters on Brazil, Rwanda and Botswana. It would have been a solid 4-star book but alas, I cannot give that many stars to a book touting shale gas and oil as a (climate) solution.
Profile Image for Yasser Sayeh.
44 reviews2 followers
November 13, 2022
يحكي الكتاب في عشرة فصول، علاوة على المقدمة والخاتمة، عددا من قصص النجاح لمجموعة من الدول على مستوى العالم، وكيفية تغلبها على التحديات التي بدت مستعصية؛ في شكل أقرب إلى دراسات الحالة لهذه الدول.
وقد تمثلت تلك التحديات في الفقر، والتطرف، والعنصرية، ومشكلات الموارد
الاقتصادية وغيرها من التحديات العصية. وقد انتقى الكتاب تجارب لبلدان
من قارات العالم المختلفة، منها البرازيل وكندا وإندونيسيا ورواندا وسنغافورة
وبوتسوانا وكوريا الجنوبية والمكسيك والولايات المتحدة، ولقادتها الذين
تجاوزوا ببلدانهم هذه المحن.
وأسهم قيام مادة هذا الكتاب على المقابلات - التي أجراها المؤلف مع قادة
هذه الدول - في خلق مادة غزيرة ودقيقة تهم المعنيين بالسياسة والشؤون
الدولية المعاصرة، وكيفية تعاطي الحكومات والشعوب الحالية في أرجاء الأرض
مع التحديات التي تواجههم.
يستحق خمس نجوم ⭐
يمكن الاطلاع على مقاساتها في yassersayeh.com
Profile Image for Jack.
89 reviews3 followers
May 29, 2017
How do you govern a country impacted by terrorism, economic depression or inequality, or the enemies in the aftermath of s bloody civil war, or a legislative body in gridlock? This collection of innovative solutions to seemingly intractable problems is a paean to pragmatism, negotiation and statesmanship - with timely nods to the eggs which are broken for every omelette. Recommended to anyone who feels like the world is a little bleak at times, and would like their faith in the future restored.
Profile Image for Minh.
314 reviews47 followers
January 25, 2020
Một chuỗi gồm nhiều case study cho tình hình địa-chính trị trên thế giới. Đọc để biết phần nhiều về lịch sử 5 châu 4 bể. Các giải pháp nêu ra trong đây phần lớn tập trung vào yếu tố con người (không thể thoát khỏi) và một phần nhỏ hoàn cảnh. Không sâu nhưng ít ra cũng có cái nhìn tổng quan.

Hạn chế đầu tiên của nó là không đi sâu thật sự vào một cái nào cả. Và có lẽ, về mặt tâm lý, chắc hẳn người ta thích đọc những câu chuyện tăm tối không lối thoát hơn là hy vọng nhen nhóm. Nhưng dù sao cũng là một cuốn sách rất nhiều thông tin về một thế giới suy tàn.
Profile Image for Mohammed Haseeb.
49 reviews2 followers
August 4, 2022
تجربة قراءة ماتعة
العدد رقم ٤٩٤ من سلسلة عالم المعرفة التي يصدرها المجلس الأعلى للثقافة والفنون والآداب بدولة الكويت بعنوان( الإصلاح: كيف تنجو الأمم في عالم يتظاهر) للكاتب والصحفي الكندي جوناثان تيبيرمان. يبدأ كاتبنا في عرض قصة كتابه وهي شرح ازاي بعض الدول استطاعت الخروج من الأزمات في ١٠ فصول وبيستعرض ده من خلال لقاءاته برؤساء بعض الدول دي أو ساسة مقربين.

الفصل الاول بيحكي عن تجربة البرازيل في عهد لولا دي سيلفا.. الرجل اللي نشأ في أسرة فقيرة وكان ترتيبه السابع بين أخواته وحُرم من استكمال تعليمه وترشح للرئاسة ٣ مرات وفشل.. وازاي تجربته كانت رائدة في التخلص من الفقر عن طريق مشروع صندوق الأسرة اللي نجح في انتشال عشرات الملايين من البرازيليين من أنقاض الفقر. الفصل الثاني كان عن كندا في عصر بيير ترودو( أو جستن ترودو) وازاي كانت كندا بتعاني من مشكلة في التعايش وازاي قدرت تحلها وازاي لما حست بحاجتها للعمالة والطاقة استوعبت المهاجرين وبقت الوجهة الأولى في العالم للهجرة ومثال التعددية الثقافية.

الفصل الثالث عن تجربة اندونسيا بعد عصر سوهارتو وازاي تخلصت من التيارات الدينية المتطرفة من غير أعمال وحشية أو غير قانونية زي ما دول أخرى عملت. وصلت اندونسيا إن الشعب بنفسه يرفضهم في السلطة وضربت مثالا رائعا في مكافحة الإرهاب... والفصل الرابع كان عن تجربة رواندا وبول كاجامي اللي جه سنة ٢٠٠٠ بعد حرب الإبادة الجماعية من الهوتو ضد التوتسي .. وضرب مثالا في التسامح والعيش المشترك. والفصل الخامس كان عن تجربة بوتسوانا فقيرة الموارد اللي فجأة اكتشفت إن عندها ماس واستغلته استغلال جيد وكانت نموذج في محاربة الفساد لدرجة إن سيرتسي كاما الرئيس كان بيحرم نفسه حتى منأي مظاهر رفاهية ولا بنى قصور!!

الفصل السادس كان عن تجربة سنغافورة ومواجهة الفساد في عهد لي كوان يو.. والسابع عن ثورة النفط الصخري و
في أمريكا وازاي الامريكان استغلوا الثروة دي أحسن استغلال بل وشجعوا الشعب كمان بقانون إن اللي يشتري أرض يملكها ويملك ما تحتها.. والفصل الثامن كان عن اقتصاد كوريا الجنوبية اللي ازدهر على يد دكتاتور عسكري اسمه بارك!! وفعلا نهض بالاقتصاد بس كوريا ازدهرت أكثر بالديموقراطية وخرجت من مصاف ببلاد الاقتصاد المتوسط إلى الدول الغنية اللي اقتصادها لا يتوقف عن النمو.

الفصل التاسع عن تجربة المكسيك الرائدة اللي الحزب الثوري الدستوري قعد بحكم فيها ٧١ سنة وبعدين جه حزب العمل الوطني. نجح دورتين ثم استعاد الحزب الثوري الدستوري الحكم على يد بينيا نييتو اللي عمل حاجة غريبة وهي التحالف بينه وبين أحزاب المعارضة لمصلحة البلد!! والفصل العاشر عن تجربة نيويورك في عصر بلومبيرغ بعد أحداث ١١ سبتمبر ٢٠٠١

الكتاب في رأيي نموذج إرشادي للحكومات اللي عندها ( نية) لإصلاح مشاكل بلدها.. وبجد تجربة قراءة عيبها الوحيد إنها خلصت .. تقييمي النهائي له ١٠/١٠ وده اول كتاب يأخذ ١٠/١٠ من وقت كورونا. وبس كده
Profile Image for Book Shark.
743 reviews137 followers
October 16, 2016
The Fix: How Nations Survive and Thrive in a World in Decline by Jonathan Tepperman

“The Fix” is a collection of interesting global case studies of how a few outstanding leaders tackled great societal problems. Journalist and author Jonathan Tepperman take readers on a global journey and identifies ten insurmountable challenges and the solutions found for each case. This well-researched 320-page book includes the following ten chapters: 1. Profits to the People, 2. Let the Right Ones In, 3. Kill them with Kindness, 4. Learn to Live With it, 5. Assume the Worst, 6. Diamonds Aren’t Forever, 7. This Land is My Land, 8. Manufacture Your Miracle, 9. Give to Get, and 10. DIY Defense.

1. A well-written, well-researched book.
2. A very interesting topic, great fixes to great societal challenges. “More than anything else, this book is meant as a testament to the power of people to get things done.”
3. Excellent format, each chapter tells the story of one government and one solution.
4. The author goes through the terrible ten global problems, ranging from inequality to gridlock. “In the absence of progress, the divide between rich and poor keeps growing. And people around the world keep getting angrier.”
5. How Brazil dealt with income inequality. “The best and simplest way to reverse the poor’s exclusion was to put a little cash in their pockets.”
6. Canada’s embrace of immigration. “In Canada’s case, that leadership produced government policies brilliantly designed to convince the country’s citizens that immigration is both a necessity and a good.”
7. The policies that characterize Canada. “Pluralism has come to join the list of peculiarly Canadian policies, such as generous state-run health care, strict gun control, and an embrace of gay rights, that help Canadians feel proud of who they are—and who they are not.”
8. How Indonesia dealt with Islamic extremism. “Indonesia has become a rare thing in the Muslim world—indeed, in the developing world at large—a safe and stable beacon of open, decent, and tolerant rule.”
9. Valuable lessons learned by Indonesia. “The other four components, which were mostly developed and deployed by SBY, involved appropriating key chunks of the Islamists’ agenda in order to steal their thunder—and much of their electoral support; inviting Islamist parties into the governing coalition, thereby giving them just enough rope to hang themselves, which they proceeded to do; relentlessly pursuing Islamist terrorists; and doing so in an extremely nimble way, avoiding many of the repressive tactics that would let the Islamists marshal public outrage to their cause.”
10. How to recover from civil war. “That leaders dealing with crises like Rwanda’s can’t be afraid to compromise, to split the difference. In fact, they should make a virtue of it. Rather than letting the great be the enemy of the good by searching for an idealized solution that would have made everyone happy—when, after all, such solutions rarely exist—Kagame essentially embraced the politics of satisficing. He recognized that when confronted with an impossible situation, wisdom often lies in forgoing the optimal for the acceptable.”
11. How Singapore conquered corruption. “The state also regularly rotates its employees into new posts to prevent them from developing cozy relationships with the public, and it has eliminated whole classes of fees and tariffs (such as import duties) to reduce the amount of cash that passes between the public and officials. Finally, it has worked hard to take money out of politics—the source of so much corruption in so many other places, including the West—by imposing strict spending limits, keeping elections very short (they generally last only nine days), and banning political ads.”
12. Valuable lessons on the resource curse. “The country’s leaders have built and maintained a democratic government that holds regular free and fair elections and is closely monitored by honest courts and a boisterous free press. Despite living in a very rough neighborhood, Botswana has never fought a war, foreign or civil; it didn’t even have a military until 1977.”
13. The energy revolution in the U.S. “US companies figured out how to unlock shale—a dense, sedimentary, carbon-rich rock that lies under much of the continental United States—as well as other forms of unconventional oil and gas, American energy production has gushed up as furiously as one of those geysers Texas roughnecks used to dream about.”
14. Explains how the shale boom occurred, “The shale boom, however, was produced by a range of different actors and forces. So this chapter, unlike many of the others in this book, will feature a variety of protagonists.”
15. How South Korea keeps its economy growing. “The story of South Korea’s climb from ruin to riches can be broken it into three distinct stages: developmental dictatorship, democratization, and liberalization.”
16. How Mexico improved its government. “The one other lesson Mexico’s story teaches is that the best way a government can deal with gridlock is simply to break it.”
17. New York’s Do-It-Yourself attitude. “The mayor’s first secret, according to Doctoroff, was his intuition that it is not only generally necessary but also often preferable to avoid asking the state or federal government for help. Given how hard it is to get Albany or Congress to do anything constructive, odds are that such assistance won’t be forthcoming, and requesting it will likely just delay a project indefinitely. Far better, Bloomberg figured out, to simply act, and to make a virtue of independence. Both New York’s experiment in counterterrorism and its success with the No. 7 subway line extension confirm the wisdom of that approach; had the city tried to pursue either of these projects through normal channels, it would probably still be waiting for an answer.”
18. An excellent conclusion that summarizes the ten cases.
19. Five key lessons.
20. Notes and references included.

1. Lacks supplementary visual material like charts and graphs that would have complemented the narrative.
2. Overly optimistic.

In summary, a very good book and a fascinating topic. It’s overly optimistic but the selection of cases are very good and the solutions are practical. It took a lot of research and time to make this book and the readers are the beneficiaries. I recommend it!

Further recommendations: “Progress: Ten Reason to Look Forward to the Future” by Johan Norberg, “The Rise and Fall of Nations” by Ruchir Sharma, “The Inevitable” by Kevin Kelly, “Global Inequality” by Branko Milanovic, “The Industries of the Future” by Alec Ross, “This Brave New World” by Anja Manuel, and “The Price of Prosperity” by Todd G. Buchholz.
1 review
October 14, 2016
Americans who are dissatisfied with their politicians should read this!

While the necessities of oversimplification to make a readable book are noted, the ideas and examples are well outlined. The ability to chose global examples fits how we all should analyze these problems. Well done.
September 3, 2017
Οικονομική ανισότητα , πολιτική διαφθορά , μεταναστευτικο ζήτημα .
Όλες οι χώρες του κόσμου αντιμετωπίζουν τέτοιου είδους προβλήματα. Ποιες είναι οι λύσεις ?
Από την Βραζιλία ,τον Καναδά και την Σιγκαπούρη, στο Μεξικό ,την Νότια Κορέα και την Νέα Υόρκη.
Από τα καλύτερα βιβλία που κυκλοφορούν για όσους είναι πρόθυμοι να διευρύνουν τους ορίζοντές τους !
768 reviews2 followers
February 5, 2017
This was a very interesting book. It talks about leaders that looked at things differently and had a good result. We certainly need that now as we are basically leaderless.
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