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Downsizing the U. S. A. (United States) Paperback – July 24, 1997
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From Library Journal
Duke University professors Naylor (emeritus, economics) and Willimon (Christian ministry) here prescribe smallness in everything, from business to the military to healthcare to education, then finally to the United States itself. Despite extensive quoting from their previous work (e.g., The Search for Meaning, LJ 2/1/94), they offer little evidence that bigness is bad or how smaller entities are better; instead, they argue from anecdote and assume that readers will agree with such premises as "Urban crime is out of control because our cities are too large." The authors build up to the conclusion that the United States should allow secession of individual states. Provocative but unconvincing.?A.J. Sobczak, formerly with California State Univ., Northridge
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Naylor is a professor emeritus of economics at Duke University; Willimon, a professor of Christian ministry at the same school. Although at first this may seem an unlikely pairing, Naylor and Willimon have successfully collaborated on several books. The Search for Meaning (1994) was based on an undergraduate seminar they, along with Magdalena Naylor, taught at Duke. Here the two move beyond campus to continue their search for purpose and significance. Practically everywhere they turn, they see Americans paying a high price for the bigness and complexity of modern society, and they warn that imposed unity and universality are false solutions. They invoke the image of the U.S. as a modern-day Babel and hold out rural areas as the only possibility of hope, "because in the countryside farms, villages, towns, schools, churches, and governments are still small enough to fix." Naylor and Willimon appropriate the term downsizing for their own use; it becomes a tool for clearing away the physical and spiritual clutter in our lives to help us discover that less really can be more. David Rouse
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"Legions of Americans, stalled in traffic jams or holding for the next available customer representative on the telephone, will agree with this book's central thesis: big is bad." Publisher's Weekly
"Practically everywhere [Naylor and Willimon] turn they see Americans paying a high price for the bigness and complexity of modern society, and they warn that imposed unity and universality are false solutions. They invoke the image of the U.S. as a modern-day Babel. Downsizing becomes a tool for clearing away the physical and spiritual clutter in our lives to help us discover that less really can be more." Booklist
"The company's too big to be profitable, so it "downsizes," the trendy word for laying people off. Naylor and Willimon go the corporate managers one better and suggest downsizing everything--cities, government, schools, churches, the military, and the welfare system. The future of business, and of people, lies locally, they argue." The Associated Press
This book will make you reinvestigate your constitutional views and actually ponder the plausibility of a peaceful breakup or splitoff of the United States. These radical ideas are apt to gain a mainstream following, particularly for those disenfranchised with the state of our current welfare, social security, and public school systems. My only complaint with the book was that the end came too soon.
I will take what they say about not buying things at Wal Mart and those nasty mail order houses to "Save America" if they give all the royalties earned from sales of their book here at the "dreaded" amazon.com over to charity!
Some good stuff here. This work is another symptom that Big Government liberalism is falling apart and people who thought they were "politically correct" are becoming "Buchanan Democrats" who are "socially conservative" yet can't swallow the Republican worship of the "free market diety".