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Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy Hardcover – Deckle Edge, November 8, 2011
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“A lucid one-man rebuttal of the Tea Party’s anti-government agenda and a practical set of proposals . . . for restoring economic growth. A succinct common-sense argument for why America needs a strong national government, why both spending cuts and increased tax revenues are necessary for addressing the debt problem (which is going to get worse given the demographics of an aging baby-boomer population and the high costs of interest payments), and why that debt problem ‘can’t be solved unless the economy starts growing again.’” —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“This book presents page after page of intelligent suggestions on how the U.S. can cut its crippling debt, create new jobs, and get ‘back into the future business’ . . . I found much to agree with.” —James Pressley, Bloomberg News
“A personal, plain-spoken economic picture of where we are, a mile-high view of the three decades that got us here, and how to revive our economy in classic ‘American Dream growth’ style. . . . If this list whiplashes from the nitty-gritty to the mile-high view and back again, it demonstrates that Clinton is a politician who can operate at both levels without breaking a sweat. . . . A book with the chutzpah that the Democrats have been missing.” —Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times
"Four stars . . . There’s an upbeat, front-foot tone to Back to Work that is welcome at a time of despair. Love him or hate him, [Clinton] hasn’t lost his touch . . . It’s refreshing to hear from him." —Martin Vander Weyer, The Telegraph (U.K.)
“Convincing . . . A rallying cry to America . . . Informed, high-minded, intelligent and persuasive… Clinton is probably the best natural politician of his generation. His skill at framing an argument is without peer and that he generally does so without demagoguery is to his lasting credit. In this case, the fact that he has simple common sense on his side doesn't hurt either. These pages should be required reading for any Democrat running for office next year.” —Erik Tarloff, The Observer (U.K.)
“Bill Clinton has an idea. A few dozen ideas, in fact, about ways large and small to get unemployed Americans back to work—from granting property tax breaks for investments that create jobs to painting every flat tar roof in U.S. cities white for the energy savings.” —Susan Page, USA Today
“A book full of ideas about how to revive the economy and get America’s unemployed millions back to work . . . The book has two main strengths. First, while arguing, rightly, that in the short run the American economy urgently needs a boost from government spending, it spells out in simple terms why Uncle Sam also needs a credible strategy for sorting out the country’s long-term fiscal problems . . . Second, Mr. Clinton is at his famously wonkish best in scouring America and the world to find practical ideas for getting people back to work." —The Economist
“Feisty . . . a cogent, well-informed attack on the GOP’s ‘antigovernment ideology.’ A smart, forthright, appealingly folksy defense of activist government.” —Publishers’ Weekly
Listen to an exclusive interview with Bill Clinton on Back to Work. [MP3]
Top Customer Reviews
Clinton compares our current situation with that of other developed countries, virtually all of which are able to achieve a workable synthesis of government and business. The United States, for example, is the only industrialized nation with a complete inability to leverage smart government in a way that offers some control over escalating health care costs. The result is diminshed confidence in our future solvency, and the discouraging reality that nations significantly less wealthy than the United States are able to provide far better social safety nets for their citizens.
Clinton also shows that today's political disfunction and idealogical gridlock is NOT characteristic of America's history. The book lists a number of Republican presidents -- including Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Eisenhower -- who believed that government was an essential tool for the public welfare and made substantial investments in infrastruture and other areas.Read more ›
His heartfelt belief in America comes through again and again. He says, "I do believe in American exceptionalism. My life has been graced by it," (pg 113) and "I don't know how this will turn out. I just know that for more than two hundred years, everyone who's bet against the United States has lost." (pg 192)
He has a low opinion of antigovernment ideology and says, "There is simply no evidence that we can succeed in the twenty-first century with an antigovernment strategy." (pg 118)
A brief survey of what is in this book:
Part I "Where We Are" includes; Chapters 1-3 (pgs 1-54) "Why we need government" (a philosophical discussion as well as historical review) and the antigovernment movement, Chapter 4 "Debt" and Chapter 5 "Competition" (total, 116 pgs)
Part II "What Can We Do" includes; Chapter 6 "How do we get back in the future business" (pg 117-188) Pages 122-185 include a 48 point list and description of how each point might benefit America.
I tend to avoid political books, but this isn't an ideological book; it reminds me a bit of Thomas Friedman's best book "The World is Flat" in the references to multiple examples of other businesses and countries, but this book is all about making America succeed into the future.Read more ›
Unfortunately, I am not sure that our polarized politicians are open to common sense solutions. How I wish that we were back in the 90's, and not just because the economy was better. Politicians were actually interested in the long-term policy of the US instead of bickering.
As a moderate voter, it was refreshing to read a little bit of common sense and honest and clear explanations of economic policy matters. Highly recommended and easy to read!
"I wrote this book because I love my country and I'm concerned about our future. ... It's heartbreaking to see so many people trapped in a web of enforced idleness, deep debt, and gnawing self-doubt... We have to change that. ...I do believe in American exceptionalism.... We've got to get America back in the future business. ... And we can." --Bill Clinton
Under President WJ Clinton's leadership, the United States enjoyed strong economic growth, and the longest economic expansion in our history. His policies of community building, through creating opportunity resulted in progress never enjoyed before by America. His credentials for this timely book include the creation of 22 million jobs, moving the nation from record deficits to record surplus; the highest home ownership and college enrollment rates in US history. After leaving the White House, he established the Clinton Foundation, bringing together world leaders to create and implement new solutions to some of the world's most pressing issues. The Clinton Global Initiative's mission is to strengthen capabilities of the United States and peoples all around the globe to meet the challenges of the future.
Bill Clinton addresses an articulate, hands on plan for economic re-vitalization, for readers of his new book. His core message, is the need to put Americans back to work. His manifesto, in a slim volume packed with recipes and ideas on how to fix America's broken job apparatus, is put together by a former president, who knows he cannot run for the top job anymore! Mr.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Why would anyone buy a book about creating jobs written by the person who is responsible for NAFTA and the loss of millions of jobs?Published 26 days ago by Ross Laffan
Excellent book written by one of the best. You will really like this fun an interesting read by Clinton. He has a way with words to make things easy but get the point actoss well.Published 9 months ago by Shan
This book has some great ideas and a different point of view. However purchase this book only if you have time to waste as it's all wishful political thinking that the majority... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Dereck C.
In a very concise and clear fashion, former president Clinton gave those who would listen amazingly practical suggestions as to how to unlock the money and bring back the economic... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Xiaguang Storey
We still need smart government and honest recollections of individual achievement.Published 12 months ago by lpvl
A well thought out and reasoned argument for smart government even if it is chock full of self-congratulation.Published 15 months ago by Regina M. Cassady