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The Comeback: How Innovation Will Restore the American Dream Hardcover – Bargain Price, January 10, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Beaufort Books (January 10, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0825305624
  • ASIN: B0055X6KSS
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,423,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As head of the Consumer Electronics Association, first time author Shapiro might be described as a high-tech lobbyist, but readers hoping to learn about the latest innovations in the tech world are in for a disappointment. This is a book about policy, not technology, from an unabashed proponent of the conservative agenda. Shapiro begins with a fascinating personal anecdote from July 2008. He was in Qingdao, China when his Chinese counterpart, circumventing the tedious translation process, used a thumbs up-thumbs down gesture and said, in English, "China going up...U.S. going down." After initial outrage, Shapiro has come to agree. His prescription for success includes tried-and-true Republican remedies like curtailing the power of government and lowering corporate taxes. He opposes unemployment payments extension, subsidies of state liabilities, and "every increase in public pensions, Medicare, Social Security, and prescription drug and health-care coverage." Not only does he advocate raising the age of Social Security eligibility, but also instituting a means test. While his reflections on the introduction of digital technology are interesting, for the rest: caveat emptor. (Feb.)
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Review

Like a losing coach on "Friday Night Lights," [Gary Shapiro] sets out to create a playbook for restoring the U.S. to economic pre-eminence. Mr. Shapiro focuses on innovation, which he argues is the nation's great competitive advantage, the source of American exceptionalism. It is easy to think of innovation as something that just happens, but it is in fact embedded in a social and political matrix. In "The Comeback" he details the policies that, he believes, will allow innovation to flourish. His recipe is a familiar one but not yet familiar enough to engage the preoccupied minds of warring political parties in Washington. Why is it that less government is the right answer in the U.S. while government is a critical driver of China's economic success? Perhaps he should make that the subject of his next book.

- Alan Murray, The Wall Street Journal


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Customer Reviews

Every politician should read this book!
The Worker
In this book, Gary Shapiro explains very clearly why and how countries should focus on innovation and create growth opportunities.
Xavier Dalloz
If you are looking to get some insight on what REAL changes we need to make NOW to get the US back on coarse pick up the book.
Jacob Sigal

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By BeachyKeen on January 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I loved the personal stories and seeing Gary Shapiro's rise to head up one of America's biggest Associations. His knowledge, experience and stories are very eye opening. This is a quick read in the sense that I didn't want to put down.

Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand how American can benefit from technology innovation. He not only explains this with great clarity, but he gives examples of how we as people, can do it. I'd give it 5 stars, but my one complaint is that at time Shapiro is a bit too general in his solutions (in a few parts). But given the book's length, I guess this isn't so much about specifics as it is about action.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By homer nods on January 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The major value of this book is that it collects in one modestly sized book all of the latest research into the causes of, and practical solutions to, our economic problems. Moreover, it is written in a very reader-friendly style, with minimal economic jargon and interesting anecdotes from the author's professional experience as head of the fascinating consumer electronic trade association.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Chris Kenst on June 17, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The defining moment came after a visit to China in July of 2008 while attending SINOCES, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) of China. When the speeches ended and the entertainment hadn't yet begun, the top Chinese official at the event turned to Gary, pointed his thumb in the air and said in English "China going up." Then he turned his thumb down and said "U.S. going down."

It took some time for Gary to get over the comments but he later came to realize the United States is falling further and further behind other countries and it's starting to have an impact on a national level. This book sets out to frame those problems by describing what America does best: create entrepreneurs and innovate and what it needs to work on: immigration, education, free trade, government spending, health care and a national energy plan. Gary provides data and examples of the problems and then outlines some solutions for the problems in practical and political terms.

I purchased The Comeback after I went to CES in Las Vegas. Gary Shapiro is president of the Consumer Electronic Association which runs CES. During one of the first days I saw him moderate a forum with a number of high profile executives about the problems they see operating in the world and within the U.S. It was an interesting global perspective and I figured this book would elaborate on that perspective.

Gary sites some interesting statistics to backup his positions on fixing America. For example he believes foreign students, who come here to get the best college education in the world, should be given citizenship. He references a study that says people who immigrate to the U.S. are 60% more likely to start their own companies than people born here. That's a pretty incredible figure.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Timothy on January 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The Comeback is a clear view of what this nation needs to get off the path we are on that's leading nowhere! Gary Shapiro shows how desperately we need innovation to find our way through these troubling times and get to a place where we are proud of what we leave our children with. Gary leads the reader through a clear understanding of the changes that are needed to produce innovative and creative solutions for success not only within our country but also on a global scale.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael Runde on January 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I recommend this book that was released this past week at the CES. Gary Shapiro gives the most powerful explanation as to where we are as a nation and where we should be going regarding real growth and job creation through innovation.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David K. Rehr on January 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Consumer Electronics Association CEO Gary Shapiro has provided invaluable arguments and data to support the cause innovation which is essential for America to remain a superpower. His book is enlightening, easy to read, and logical. It is a "must read" for entrepreneurs, corporate executives and Americans interested in what is really happening in their national government. Shaprio pulls no punches, true to his personality and character. But that directness makes this book a great read. And we can only hope that our national leaders will heed Shapiro's recommendations and advice.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Patric Hale on January 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Gary Shapiro learned the hard way about how the world is changing fundamentally in the 21st Century, and how our policy-makers in Washington simply aren't keeping up. Since 1941 with the entrance of the USA into WWII, we sacrificed and worked hard to develop a better world as a result. From WWII hroughout the Cold War our sacrifices were meant to free first Western Europe, then Eastern Europe, and finally Asia from the scorge of dictatorial regimes with centrally directed economies. We all knew that countries and economies built on free markets, the rule of law, democratic institutions, and human rights would lead to better societies. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the spread of this philosophy has been firmly established. And the results? They have been as predictable as our faith that guided our policies throughout the post-WWII era. Given this scenario, is it really any surprise that China has increased its importance in the world, or Germany and the EU is now challenging the USA, or Brazil, South Africa, India, and other countries are now maximizing its opportunities?

But here's the problem - we have a policy-making community in Washington, DC that remains fixated on a Cold War view of America and its powers in a new global economy. It's time for a wake-up call: We won the Cold War, but the Wall fell over 20 years ago now and the world has changed. We can declare victory, but that no longer is good enough for us to continue to be the leader of the world by fiat - now we have to earn it the hard way, by competing!

It is time for all of us to wake up to the 21st Century and understand that there is a global economy out there that doesn't take any prisoners. That means we will have to compete in ways that none of us have had to in our lifetimes.
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