From Publishers Weekly
Journalist Flanigan argues that the 22-million-strong region at the nexus of Latin America and the U.S. has moved from the periphery to the center of the American economy via specific innovations, endowments and long-term trends that have not only helped create the new global economy but point the way to U.S. prosperity in a dramatically changed global marketplace. Profiling small business owners, inventors, academic researchers, and business and finance pioneers (including broadband innovator Henry Samueli and financier Michael Milken), Flanigan gives an informed sense of key transformations in both SoCal's economy and international trade attendant on developments in communications technology. Dismissing gloomier forecasts by the likes of Mike Davis and Joan Didion, Flanigan aligns himself with the reasoned optimism of authors like historian Kevin Starr and journalist Peter Schrag, but it must be said his is a more narrowly focused treatment than this company suggests, which leaves the book overly sanguine at points. Nonetheless, this is a valuable explication of the meaning and challenges of globalization for the region and the U.S. generally. (Mar.)
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"Thanks to this lively investigation by one of the nations most highly regarded business reporters, we can better understand how off-shore investment, technology, decentralization, can-do entrepreneurialism and sheer panache have created one of the strongest economies on the planet as well as a working model for American competition in a global age." —Kevin Starr, University of Southern California
"Few experts understand Southern California's dynamism better than Jim Flanigan. He's poured all that understanding into this book and given us a great read about one of the world's most important economies." —Michael Milken, Chairman, The Milken Institute
"The author is a recognized journalistic authority on the topic. This study offers a refreshing view of Southern California, painting biographical narratives on a background canvas of important economic data." —William Deverell, Director, Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West
"Flanigan argues that the rapid growth of the Asian economies since the mid-1970s and the preeminence of Los Angeles' deep-water port on the West Coast—among other factors—have made it the 'center of the universe.' This is an important insight, and one that is too little appreciated. The writing is forceful and most engaging are the stories of individuals who have built up lucrative businesses after coming to appreciate the available opportunities." —Susan B. Carter, Professor of Economics, University of California, Riverside
"This important book offers fresh perspectives on the resilience and global reach of Southern California's dynamic economy. Distilling his four decades of experience as a perceptive observer, Flanigan has a real eye for the biographical detail that brings to life the regions dramatic story of globalization, business innovation, and immigrant entrepreneurship." —Steven P. Erie, Professor of Political Science, University of California, San Diego and author of Globalizing L.A.