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Comeback: America's New Economic Boom Paperback – June 11, 2013

3.5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Mr. Morris adroitly explains the workings of "the splendid technology that makes [shale] possible," ...[arguing] that this unconventional revolution could support more than four million jobs... He also makes a compelling case that the U.S. is significantly under-investing in ...infrastructure...   The contribution of "Comeback" is to cogently lay out the bright economic consequences of the unconventional oil and gas revolution and the revival of manufacturing. Daniel Yergin, Pulitzer-Prize winning author of The Prize: the Epic Quest for Oil Money and Power. (Wall Street Journal)

Morris (The Trillion-Dollar Meltdown, 2008, etc.) presents a persuasive, upbeat forecast of economic growth, starting now, for the United States...[He] has a companionable voice, affable and easy, but with words chosen for maximum clarity. He tackles three elements of the American economy...: hydrocarbons from shale; investment in infrastructure and manufacturing; and health care. Serious bureaucratic, technological and environmental issues, unpacked with facility, provide digestible food for thought. Kirkus Reviews

In Comeback: America's New Economic Boom, author Charles Morris refers to "the new X-factor, the American energy advantage." The "game changer"--shale oil and gas technology and production--has put the United States and Canada in the world's leading economic saddle....Yes, technologically unlocked oil and gas has created an energy revolution and industrial bright spot in the... Obama era. Forbes

Charles Morris, the author of the bestselling crisis book The Two Trillion Dollar Meltdown....[has] released a sequel volume--albeit a slim one--called Comeback: America's New Economic Boom. His cause for celebration? The fracking revolution. The nation's supply of natural gas locked in shale "is so vast that it has the potential to transform the manufacturing economy, creating jobs across the country and requiring a new infrastructure that will benefit the nation as a whole." Daniel Gross (Daily Beast/Newsweek)

Mark J. Perry, AEI Ideas (blog)

"Charles Morris (who accurately predicted the crash of 2008) discusses the main themes of his new book "Comeback: America's New Economic Boom" with NPR, here's an excerpt: It's the best-kept secret in the economics media: The United States is on the brink."
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs; First Trade Paper Edition edition (June 11, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1610393368
  • ISBN-13: 978-1610393362
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,165,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I've read Charles Morris before, and while I think this is a worthwhile book to read, I doubt that many people will agree with all of his conclusions. I do agree with one of the main premises of the book, that our new domestic sources of oil and gas will be a significant boon to our economy, in many different ways. He does an excellent job of explaining how these new sources of energy are extracted, without being overly technical. For me, his analysis of the energy boom is the high point of the book, and it should probably be read for that if nothing else. I was not as impressed with his analysis and conclusions regarding the future of healthcare, I had a bit of trouble following him from time to time. Not saying that he is wrong, for all I know he might have nailed it, but I didn't get a clear takeaway on that like I did with the energy segment. The other main topic that he addressed was our infrastructure, and I think he did a pretty good job on that one. For me I would put it in the middle, below energy and above healthcare, as far as clarity and conclusions. Books like this, I consider it time well spent if I come away with a better understanding of a single topic, and I am by no means disappointed in the book. It's just not a perfect book, but then again, very few are. I was wavering between three and four stars for my rating, finally went with four stars on the excellence of his presentation on the energy topic.
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Half Right
The author (who wrote the excellent book, "Dawn of Innovation") is half right in this book. He is right about natural gas from tracking. This energy discovery gives this country the chance to become more energy independent and gives us the chance to run industry and electrical power much cheaper. In 1973, both the US and EU hit the skids economically because the price of oil went up by a factor of five. Cheap (or cheaper) energy is critical to the rest of the economy.

Half Wrong
The author continues his book after the good section on natural gas with two sections on how healthcare and infrastructure are going to help this country recover. Neither is correct. The costs of healthcare are out of control. Healthcare is a drain on the economy and nearly 20% of the GDP. Yes, we want healthcare, but at a reasonable price. A real step forward would be to get Medicaid out of the hospitals and into a separate system modeled on the British NHS (8% of GDP). Those that get it for free should also get long lines instead of immediate service at Emergency Rooms (the most expensive form of medical care). Infrastructure may or may not increase productivity. Yes, the first transcontinental railroad increased our productivity, but the proposed LA-SF high speed rail is nothing but the world's most stupid project (a high speed rail isn't high speed when it has to go through 50 miles of 4,000 ft. mountains at either end; this is why Switzerland doesn't have high speed rail).
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Finally - good economic news.... Given that a resurgence in our country's untapped, enormous natural energy resources could revitalize U.S. manufacturing advantage at home and make the U.S. energy independent, "there is good reason to believe our best years as a country are ahead of us, not behind us," to paraphrase a line from the late, ex-President Reagan.

The author carefully explains various common misunderstandings and cites differing opinions of authoritative sources to avoid selective fact gathering. His weighing of facts is to be applauded. If anything he calls for the necessity of requiring the disclosure of more facts to make better public policy decisions, which apparently does not sit well with self-interest parties.

His final chapters are for us to heed with additional suggestions on what will make the prospects successful.

In the strategy of debate, it is said that when arguing, attack the facts and if unsuccessful, then attack the logic; when all else fails, seed suspicion in the other person's intentions. Reading other reviews of his book, it is obvious that critics are busy at work. Yet the author is persuasive to an audience whose agenda is to serve the public good starting with the revival of middle class jobs.

A compelling 5 Stars.
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It's okay, I expected a lot more from this book. As a citizen interested in the role the energy sector should play in the economic recovery of the United States and how it will impact the economic landscape of the world, I expected much more sustained facts and documentation. Besides, the contention of the book should have had a more futuristic approach, in the sense that cheap and abundant energy will be the main engine of productivity in industrial societies in the future.
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As usual, Charles Morris has his finger on the pulse. His analysis is clear, crisp, to the point and well argued. He is among the top financial-economic commentators of his generation--and this book delivers on it's important story.
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This is the best book on the state of the economy that I have read in years. I bought it at a promotional price but it is well worth the full retail value. Do not miss this one. It is a full five stars and then some.
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