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The Work of Nations: Preparing Ourselves for 21st Century Capitalism

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  234 ratings  ·  16 reviews
There is no longer such a thing as an American economy, say Robert Reich at the beginning of this brilliant book.  What does it mean to be a nation when money, goods, and services know no borders?  What skills will be the most valuable in the coming century? And how can our country best ensure that all its citizen have a share in the new global economy?  Robert B. Reich, t ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published February 4th 1992 by Vintage (first published 1991)
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3.76  · 
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 ·  234 ratings  ·  16 reviews

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Mel Foster
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Mel by: bag sale special at the library!
Reich, writing in 1991, argues that we don't think properly about economic priorities in the modern global age, being too stuck in metaphors (or "vestigial thinking" as he calls it) designed to describe systems of past generations. He repeatedly argues that "The skills of a nation's work force and the quality of its infrastructure are what makes it unique, and uniquely attractive, in the world economy. " (264) Therefore, he challenges the idea that ownership should determine whether a company is ...more
Thomas Ray
Jan 25, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: politics, bad
Blithering. Reich thinks the winners in society are winners because they "manipulate symbols." No, Bob. The winners are winners because they've been cut in on the deal. Wealth goes to those with wealth, not those with exceptional skills: Talented programmers have their projects cancelled, their jobs outsourced to Asia. Talented musicians starve. People go to college because they're wealthy, to a much greater degree than conversely.

If you want to know economics, read Joseph Stiglitz, Thomas Piket
Les Hollingsworth
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Just as relevant today as it was the day it was written (26 years ago). In fact, the predictions are remarkable considering that they were made before the Internet was heavily commercialized. All except one of Reich's forecasts have come to pass. The one he missed on was the rise of Japan as a major economic challenger to the USA; missed that one by mile (but nobody's perfect).

Ultimately, this is a valuable and insightful read to understand that what we're seeing in the USA in 2017 was foreseea
Chinthaka Kuruwita
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book! Explains why "made in America" is such an illusion, because of the complexity of the world's supply chains. Ford cars have as many Chinese parts in their engines as in any Japanese cars!!
Jul 03, 2017 rated it liked it
can't claim to have digested it all. written in the early 90's, therefore before 9-11 and the current Islamaphobia...but thought-provoking and unbelievably timeless.
Dec 26, 2012 rated it did not like it
This 1992 book by Robert B. Reich, a political economist at Harvard and a reputable policy wonk, purports to be about economies and globalization but is in fact about new business models. Reich lays out the case for globalization in a standard fashion and makes the case that American corporations aren't really American anymore - no surprise at all to anyone who has worked in a multi-billion dollar company recently.

Reich is filled up with words like "enterprise web" and "network", but these conce
Dec 18, 2015 marked it as to-keep-ref
En la medida en que el mercado mundial se realiza hoy más acabadamente, tiende a deconstruir los límites del Estado-nación. En un período previo, los Estados-nación fueron los actores principales en la organización imperialista moderna de la producción e intercambio global, pero para el mercado mundial aparecen como meros obstáculos. Robert Reich, ex Secretario de Trabajo de los Estados Unidos, se halla en una excelente posición para reconocer y festejar el levantamiento de los límites nacionale ...more
Alex Milledge
Jan 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Robert Reich lays down the manifesto and framework for America's economy strategy for the coming century.

What is needed in America is a complete reshaping of its political imagination in order to see what is possible, let alone survive. America needs to shake off the harmful political and economic maxims that were indoctrinated by the Reagan administration - trickle down economics, no new taxes, and elimination of state welfare services - to create a society that is worth living in where all pe
Bill Boardman
Mar 16, 2014 rated it liked it
An interesting read. I would be interested in seeing what the author thinks now that twenty years have passed. Global warming now includes global cooling. Russia is trying to collect (or punish) former soviet states. The Obama care fiasco. A fresh view 20 yrs later would be interesting.
Caleb Chamberlain
Apr 04, 2008 rated it liked it
Globalization is a hot topic; some see it as a good thing, others think that it heralds the end of civilization as we know it (these latter groups might be more right than they know...) Reich takes a sort of middle ground in "The Work of Nations."
Nov 17, 2012 rated it liked it
got it after reading supercapitalism, but not as good as supercapitalism.
Gordon Kwok
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
An interesting book on how to prepare the nation for the future.
Sep 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Read this while completing my MBA. Useful perspective at the time.
Nov 25, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humanities
hopefully all can find work that is beneficial. hard to say whether there will be political acceptance of any sort of global empowerment based on good work.
Apr 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Best explanation of globalization and why it matters to the average Joe that I've ever seen.
Michael Josefowicz
Feb 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
In 1992, before globalization and internet were mainstream realities, Reich focuses correctly on the coming problems for Americans in the emerging world economy.
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Robert Bernard Reich is an American politician, academic, and political commentator. He served as Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1997. Reich is a former Harvard University professor and the former Maurice B. Hexter Professor of Social and Economic Policy at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. He is currently a professor at the Un ...more