From Library Journal
As presidential candidates stump the nation with plans for "Putting Americans Back To Work," Case reports on some of the entrepreneurs who have barged ahead and done just that. Case, an editor of Inc. magazine, has written a lively examination of the surge of new business creation since 1970. In counterpoint to J.K. Galbraith's 1950s' theory of the New Industrial State that saw the U.S. economy as dominated by large corporations, Case sees the decline of the Fortune 500 as the fount of innovation and employment growth for the United States. In his visits to going concerns of both the metal-bending and postindustrial persuasions, Case finds that one owner of a die-casting outfit in Worcester, Massachusetts, has transformed his firm into a sophisticated job shop. High-tech firms and attendant fern bars have sprouted in Akron, Ohio, where giant tiremakers formerly plied their trade. Case cruises a Silicon Valley where the progeny of big computer firms act as suppliers to and collaborators with their forebears. He ends with a call for public/private cooperation rather than laissez-faire to foster the creation of new businesses. Highly recommended for all business collections.- Michael Stevenson, Harvard Business Sch. Lib.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
A journalist's persuasive brief for the intriguing proposition that American business has taken a turn for the better over the past couple of decades. Case (Digital Future, 1985; Understanding Inflation, 1981) argues that the domestic economy is in the midst of a convulsive upheaval, not a reversal of fortune. His position is that the Fortune 500 corporations that long dominated US commercial life are giving way to smaller, defter concerns with entrepreneurial cultures plus a genuine commitment to innovation, niche markets, customer service, or whatever else it takes to thrive in an increasingly competitive environment. Drawing on statistical as well as anecdotal evidence, Case shows how welterweight enterprises have taken up much of the job (and virtually all of the creative slack) left by their larger (albeit downsizing) counterparts. Cited examples range from the operators of mini-steel mills and producers of specialty semiconductor devices through the imaginative developers who reclaimed for other uses an abandoned Goodrich tire plant in Akron. In the meantime, the author points out, many craft (as opposed to mass) manufacturers have formed mutually advantageous alliances with restructured leviathans that, comparatively modest revenues notwithstanding, give them a global presence. He warns, however, that ongoing change in employment patterns means less security and fewer benefits for most workers- -prospects that raise important public-policy questions. An instructive and encouraging overview that submits that the nation's business glass may be well over half full. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.