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State of Innovation: The U.S. Government's Role in Technology Development Hardcover – June 30, 2010

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"Five Easy Theses: Commonsense Solutions to America's Greatest Economic Challenges"
Business leader and esteemed economic thinker James M. Stone outlines simple solutions to America's five most pressing public policy issues, from healthcare to education to inequality. Learn more | Kindle book
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Editorial Reviews

Review

The term 'industrial policy' remains a bugaboo in the United States, even though as this book documents the federal government is one of the world's most activist when it comes to industrial support. The true value of this book resides in the case narratives it presents on a range of successful and unsuccessful public programs. The book is a treasure trove of ideas on how to make the strategic collaboration between private and public work better. It is a must-read for anyone interested in the state of the U.S. economy and its future prospects. -- Dani Rodrik, John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University From blockbuster pharmaceutical drugs to jet turbines to microchips, the U.S. government has directly supported some of the key technological drivers of the global economy. The reality, illuminated by this superb collection of case studies, is that America's industrial might is in no small measure a consequence of sustained state investments. State of Innovation strikes a blow against our collective amnesia and free market nostalgias. -- Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, co-authors, Break Through: From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possibility Block and Keller dispel the widespread fantasy that governments merely maintain markets as playing fields. This important collection gets inside the reality and leads us toward a sophisticated understanding of market dynamics. -- Nicole Woolsey Biggart, University of California--Davis

About the Author

Fred Block is an economic and political sociologist at the University of California, Davis. His books include, The Origins of International Economic Disorder (California) and Postindustrial Possibilities (California). He has been studying U.S. innovation policies since 2006 with support from the Ford Foundation.

Matthew R. Keller is an Assistant Professor at Southern Methodist University. His research explores shifts in dominant intellectual and political trends and their relation to government organization and policy. One strand of his current work investigates innovation policies and dynamics; a second explores how governments respond to episodes of collective violence.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (June 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594518238
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594518232
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,337,950 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Loyd Eskildson HALL OF FAME on July 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
'State of Innovation' is a collection of articles on the topic, aimed at moving past stale state-versus-market debates built on 18th-century theorizing. The authors see both government and private entrepreneurship playing central roles - the critical question is how to create positive synergies between the two.

The introduction provides a brief summary of government's role in innovation to-date, pointing out that as early as the 1820's army engineers ere building canals and lighthouses, and improving river navigation, that U.S. industrialization began behind high tariff walls from Hamilton's day through the 19th century, that Lincoln launched the building of the intercontinental railway and presided over the creation of the Department of Agriculture and the start of land grant colleges. Then there was the Manhattan Project, with Los Alamos, Lawrence Berkeley, Oak Ridge, and Sandia Labs, NASA, and DARPA - the latter being the origin of the Internet.

The book's most significant findings are based on reviews of the R&D 100 Award winners from R&D Magazine. From 1971 the number of awards given Fortune 500 firms fell from about 40 to 4 (2006), though these data exclude major computer and drug firms. (Only 2 drugs received the 'Golden Pill' award between 1997-2006, and 12 others took 2nd place nominations as clear advances over existing therapies - thus, drug inclusion would not have made much difference.) Similarly, the proportion of U.S. corporate patents by G.E., Kodak, AT&T, DuPont, G.M., Dow Chemical, 3M, United Technologies, and Ford fell from 10% in 1971 to 4.5% in 2006 - evidence that large corporations cut back on R&D, relying instead on licensing and acquisitions. Meanwhile, awards to SBIR (< 500 employees) firms increased from 0 (1971) to 1 (1982) to 22 (2006).
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I've been a fan of Fred Block's work for over 30 years. He's a very smart guy who does not allow dogma to serve as a substitute for serious thinking and honest treatment of the evidence. But I have not read this book, and the reason is simple: the price is just unreasonable, and the publisher evidently cannot even provide a table of contents to look at. To whomever sets the price of this book: get serious about making important academic work accessible to folks who are not independently wealthy.
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Format: Paperback
'State of Innovation' is a collection of articles on the topic, aimed at moving past stale state-versus-market debates built on 18th-century theorizing. The authors see both government and private entrepreneurship playing central roles - the critical question is how to create positive synergies between the two.

The introduction provides a brief summary of government's role in innovation to-date, pointing out that as early as the 1820's army engineers ere building canals and lighthouses, and improving river navigation, that U.S. industrialization began behind high tariff walls from Hamilton's day through the 19th century, that Lincoln launched the building of the intercontinental railway and presided over the creation of the Department of Agriculture and the start of land grant colleges. Then there was the Manhattan Project, with Los Alamos, Lawrence Berkeley, Oak Ridge, and Sandia Labs, NASA, and DARPA - the latter being the origin of the Internet.

The book's most significant findings are based on reviews of the R&D 100 Award winners from R&D Magazine. From 1971 the number of awards given Fortune 500 firms fell from about 40 to 4 (2006), though these data exclude major computer and drug firms. (Only 2 drugs received the 'Golden Pill' award between 1997-2006, and 12 others took 2nd place nominations as clear advances over existing therapies - thus, drug inclusion would not have made much difference.) Similarly, the proportion of U.S. corporate patents by G.E., Kodak, AT&T, DuPont, G.M., Dow Chemical, 3M, United Technologies, and Ford fell from 10% in 1971 to 4.5% in 2006 - evidence that large corporations cut back on R&D, relying instead on licensing and acquisitions. Meanwhile, awards to SBIR (< 500 employees) firms increased from 0 (1971) to 1 (1982) to 22 (2006).
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Purchased as a gift for my house and. Prompt delivery and just what he wanted!
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