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The Flight of the Creative Class: The New Global Competition for Talent Paperback – February 20, 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness; Reprint edition (February 20, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060756918
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060756918
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,156,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Following up on The Rise of the Creative Class (2002), Florida argues that if America continues to make it harder for some of the world's most talented students and workers to come here, they'll go to other countries eager to tap into their creative capabilities—as will American citizens fed up with what they view as an increasingly repressive environment. He argues that the loss of even a few geniuses can have tremendous impact, adding that the "overblown" economic threat posed by large nations such as China and India obscures all the little blows inflicted upon the U.S. by Canada, Scandinavia, New Zealand and other countries with more open political climates. Florida lays his case out well and devotes a significant portion of this polemical analysis to defending his earlier book's argument regarding "technology, talent, and tolerance" (i.e. that together, they generate economic clout, so the U.S. should be more progressive on gay rights and government spending). He does so because that book contains what he sees as the way out of the dilemma—a new American society that can "tap the full creative capabilities of every human being." Even when he drills down to less panoramic vistas, however, Florida remains an astute observer of what makes economic communities tick, and he's sure to generate just as much public debate on this new twist on brain drain. 25-city radio tour.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Professor Florida makes an impassioned plea, using his first book, The Rise of the Creative Class (2002), as a jump start, for the U.S. to retain its stature as an open and welcoming home for talent. And lest readers think that the author has overstated the hype, that engineers, scientists, and other innovators are not emigrating from America, he musters up an incredible quantity of quality statistics that would disable any contrarian, from the unaffordability of our cities to our insistence on outsourcing. Yet this brain drain is not attributable simply to verifiable factors; rather, it is in large part driven by our demise as an open, tolerant society. Look at the numbers of films now produced in Toronto, New Zealand, and Australia. Who now has the lead in developing new ideas in consumer electronics? Note the decreasing numbers of Nobel Prizes awarded to U.S. citizens. How do we solve the problem? He admits his four-pronged program is not an overnight panacea; it requires a profound societal shift. Barbara Jacobs
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Author of the bestselling The Rise of the Creative Class and Who's Your City? Richard Florida is a regular columnist for The Atlantic. He has written for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and other publications. His multiple awards and accolades include the Harvard Business Review's Breakthrough Idea of the Year. He was named one of Esquire magazine's Best and Brightest (2005) and one of BusinessWeek's Voices of Innovation (2006). He lives in Toronto, Canada.

Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 53 people found the following review helpful By P. Lozar on July 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
RF has written an excellent followup to his first book. His concept that the U.S. is suffering a "brain drain" has been discussed pretty thoroughly by other reviewers, so I won't rehash it, other than to say that I think he's right on the button. The title, in fact, reflects only part of the story: what I found most stimulating about the book is his suggestions for the future.

I think that his recommendations about education are excellent. He does NOT say that a college education is a necessary prerequisite for prosperity; rather, he points out that the present U.S. educational system doesn't foster (and indeed squelches) the creativity, flexibility, and initiative that students need to succeed in today's volatile economy. While training a nation of workplace drones and mindless consumers might have been expedient in the age of large factories, it's counterproductive today and represents an immense waste of human abilities, especially if we're losing the influx of immigrant talent and ambition that has fueled our economy up to now. (Current educational reforms, e.g., No Student Left Behind, are a step backwards in their focus on rote memorization and standardized tests; the aim appears to be to create easily measurable results to make a political point.)

It's noteworthy that RF doesn't take sides politically: while he bewails the political climate that has led to the "flight of the creative class," he also deplores the increased polarization of the major parties, which has more to do with Washington power politics than with voters' actual beliefs.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 25, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book is an extension of Florida's "Creativity Thesis" from his earlier book (although this work certainly stands on its own). His primary theme is that a new economic category has begun to dominate our society in a challenging way: the "creative class," a broad term defining those who work in idea-based jobs. It doesn't mean merely artists and musicians but encompasses lawyers, scientists, and others that consult, advise, invent, etc. This group is fast becoming a critical part of any region's economic success, and Florida attempts to sort out the consequences. Importantly, for success a city must have more than job availability. To attract the creative types a city must offer diversity and lifestyle opportunity too -- a thesis I find humane and reasonable. Cities must provide fulfillment, as well as dollars.

Florida argues that the United States must now compete globally for talent in order to succeed. We are currently failing, he argues, by limiting opportunities for immigrants which are the key to diversity and economic drive. Florida's is not a gloom and doom image, but a suggestion that the playing field is leveling -- although the US currently has an important advantage of having vibrant, connected and exciting cities to attract creative talent.

Florida's boldest argument in political terms is the importance of immigration. Immigration is the lifeblood of a creative economy, and Florida notes that immigration is important both in its quantity and its diversity. Immigrants from varied countries will add to the creativity the new economy requires. The current drop in immigration alarms Florida; immigrants must make up, for example, the shortfall in current science research by that of American citizens.
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64 of 77 people found the following review helpful By jahaka on April 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I've found the negative reviews to be perplexing- such vitriolic diatribes and very little critical thought evident- I wonder if the book was actually read by these reviewers. This is a really good book that deserves to be read and discussed. Florida doesn't pretend to have all of the answers. People with pulses and a modicum of creativity seem to understand the premises he puts forth. For those looking to blame someone, anyone, for the economic equity gap evident in this country, Florida is an easy target. Folks, don't kill the messenger, he may have something to teach you. The cultural insularity and puritanical values perpetuated in current public policy have long term consequences. Wake up!
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By W. Savage on June 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Here's a thought...those who have extremely negative reactions to this book may actually be a part of the challenge facing us all, from corporate management to community leaders. Perhaps many of us are too close to and protective of our own narrow "dots" to connect the dots of the bigger picture.

If you read Florida's book with an open mind and the confidence to challenge your patterns and perceptions, you realize that he dares himself and others from many realms to see the wider ripples in our global pond. I work with a group of employers and community leaders facing the real issues this book addresses. The best part about Florida's work is that while each of our individual corporate or community members may find certain `dot connections' in the books they may question, they all have been energized by the ideas which stimulate a more comprehensive dialogue.

Don't rely on any one review - rely on your intuition... if people are so passionate in responding to the book, it is worth reading...especially if you are a critical thinker yourself. It is not about separating classes further or offering one complete solution for our economic future. It actually gives you interesting material and exercise for your brain to come up with solutions which apply to your own corporations and communities. Engaging more sectors to work together is a solid step, just as a successful leadership team in any organization includes people with very different talents. This is where new solutions are born, and where the broad appeal of Florida's work is having a tangible impact.
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