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American Made: Why Making Things Will Return Us to Greatness Hardcover – March 3, 2015

4.5 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“With American Made, Mr. DiMicco delivers a broadside against the fashionable "secular stagnation" theorists dominating the political discourse.. few people will agree with everything he says, but the book is a cri de coeur from one of our best executives from one of our most successful companies. Attention should be paid.” ―The Wall Street Journal

“Common-sensical--perhaps too much so for policymakers to stomach--and plainspoken. Free trade absolutists and corporate apologists will hate it, but as for the rest, it's worthy of much discussion.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“[DiMicco] offers blistering criticism of politicians from both parties for maintaining ideological positions at the expense of focusing on the economy and creating jobs...Clearly and passionately, he offers solutions for economic recovery through investing in infrastructure and encouraging innovation.” ―Booklist

“If this nation's leaders would read this book, maybe they could keep our country from committing financial suicide. Dan's common-sense approach is a uniting factor that's missing in this era of fractious, if not toxic, politics. Dan will leave you scratching your head about how in heck we have gotten so off-base, and hurt so many hardworking men and women, in the United States of America.” ―Jim Cramer, host, CNBC's "Mad Money"

“In American Made, my former competitor, steel industry colleague and friend Dan DiMicco makes a compelling case that the way forward for America lies in making and building things, rather than the mythical service and financial models that have led to repeated bubbles and busts. Dan presents his case in clear and concise terms that should appeal to policymakers and factory workers alike. His patriotic spirit is unquenchable, and his logic unassailable.” ―John Surma, retired CEO, US Steel

“Dan DiMicco's thinking on energy, the economy, and just about everything else is a refreshing departure from the us-vs.-them rancor that surrounds these pressing issues today. With characteristic pragmatism, he speaks for the millions of people feeling left behind no matter what the stock ticker says, and reminds us that there's never been a more dangerous time for America to take its collective eye off the ball.” ―Jim Rogers, former Chairman and CEO, Duke Energy

“Dan has been an essential voice and advocate for the role of manufacturing in our country. In this book, he outlines a roadmap for the future of manufacturing and job creation that just might change some minds.” ―Matt Rose, Executive Chairman, BNSF Railway

About the Author

Dan DiMicco is the former CEO and Chairman Emeritus of Nucor, the largest and most profitable U.S. steel company and the largest recycler in North America. He was appointed to the Department of Commerce US Manufacturing Council in 2008 and served until 2011. In January 2012, the American Institute of Steel Construction awarded Mr. DiMicco the Robert P. Stupp Award for Leadership Excellence for recognition of his leadership in the steel construction industry and for his service as an advocate for domestic manufacturing jobs.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (March 3, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1137279796
  • ISBN-13: 978-1137279798
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #217,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Author Dan Dimicco is the former CEO of Nucor Steel. The words “steel company” conjure up images of abandoned factories, intransigent labor unions, and corporate management that doesn’t know how to compete in the new globalized economy.

But Mr. DiMicco’s combination of engineering and management skills have turned Nucor Steel --- a once-obscure company in a moribund industry --- into a champion. Under his leadership it has become one of the world’s most innovative, efficient, and profitable industrial companies. It has become a role model of constructive relations between Management and Labor.

So, Dimicco is worth listening to. The issue he addresses in this book is familiar to most --- the perception that our economy is still limping along six years after the onset of the Great Recession of 2008. Most of us know friends and family members who are sitting at home twiddling their thumbs because they can’t find any means of employment, or at best are underemployed stocking shelves and ringing the registers at a big box store for minimum wage.

Us old-timers remember those prosperous times back in the ‘60s and early 70’s when high-wage jobs were plentiful. In those days we had an economy of substance based on the manufacture of steel, motor vehicles, aircraft, machine tools, construction equipment, appliances, and many other basic everyday products.

That substantive economy has been replaced by a new economy based on service sector jobs that consigns to many among America's middle class into service jobs that often don’t provide as much upward mobility as the more substantial manufacturing sector used to do.

Mr.
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Format: Hardcover
Too many 'experts claim America's economy is 'on the mend,' despite declining average wages and increasing inequality. DiMicco, in contrast, immediately begins 'American Made' with a big dose of reality - 'Something is broken in the economy.' DiMicco then backs up that assertion with data showing the 'real' unemployment rate is still alarmingly high (near 12% - vs. the official rate of 5.9%), explained by millions who have dropped out of the workforce. (Labor participation rate in 9/14 was 63%, lower at any time since the double-dip recession of 1980-81.) Continuing, only about 1/3 of our 5.2 million manufacturing jobs lost since 2000 were lost since 2008; meanwhile, construction sector unemployment is over 12%.

In the 1990s, our economy added an average of 321,000 jobs/month during the best years, 208,000 before the Great Recession. Now we're thrilled with 150,000/month.

Many look to our government for solutions, only to find an unending series of distractions (tax cuts, reducing the debt, foreign affairs, boosting Internet speeds, free community-college education, health care, gay marriage, the environment, immigration, racism) and ideological bickering. Something is broken in government as well, and the two problems feed on each other. Another logical source of assistance - Wall Street. But that's not likely either because it's a major cause of our manufacturing problems - pushing record profits by shipping jobs overseas and to Mexico. Hence, U.S. manufacturing, a long-term source of millions of high-paying skilled jobs, has become an endangered species.

The 'good news' is that author DiMicco has the credibility to offer another path to improvement. His credibility derives from 12 years as head of Nucor, America's largest U.S.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As an old manufacturing guy, I can relate with nearly everything Dan says in this book. Making things is not only a noble profession but it is a key ingredient to a successful economy. Dan hits on many areas where our government where the federal govt. doesn't get it and makes it easier for companies to locate manufacturing facilities overseas and somehow, we will make up the difference with innovation or service sector jobs. Dan has been on the front lines of this battle and has come out a winner even though the odds were against it. The Chinese government is very accommodating to companies that located manufacturing facilities there but there is a price; both to company (losing intellectual property) and to the US (losing jobs, value add, technology). Dan illustrates that the Chinese have a comprehensive policy to attract manufacturing and we do not. Much of this book reinforces what I have believed for many years, e.g. the "service economy" is bunk, it won't work. I also learned a great deal; this book was a good read. it is clear that Dan is a Republican he devotes quite a few pages criticizing Obama, much of it justified IMHO, e.g. concentrating on healthcare when the economy needed his undivided attention, but this would have been a better book if his politics were not so obvious. There is plenty of blame to be shared all over the political spectrum. Dan speaks to this somewhat, but maybe my politics are showing on this one. Make no mistake, this is a great book
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Basic common sense which our "leaders" in Washington fail to see, or just don't care enough to consider. I was fortunate to have worked selling for Nucor for the last eleven years of a 42 year steel career, and saw how Dan treated all the people there. Dan was demanding but fair. What he tells regarding allowing smart people try some chancy stuff is true, and the results have been largely successful in keeping Nucor the leading steel company in the US, and likely the world. Great business in a very difficult industry. It was an honor to represent Nucor to the steel community, and Dan was one very important reason for continuing that culture.
Gerry Curtin, Roswell, GA
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