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The Great Reset: How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity Hardcover – April 27, 2010

3.9 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this optimistic but too-broad look at the present economic crisis and the opportunities it presents, social and business commentator Florida (The Rise of the Creative Class) examines the latest of the "Great Resets," moments of transformative upheaval (like the Great Depression) "when new technologies and technological systems arise, when the economy is recast and society remade, and when the places where we live and work change to suit new needs." Though he cautions that "not all Resets are the same," and presents enough real-life examples, Florida too often rushes back to neat generalities and cheerleading: "we must do all we can to turn service jobs into more innovative, more engaging, more fulfilling and much better-paid work." Florida also has a tendency toward gratuitous personal stories. Though the book would have benefited from fewer platitudes and authorial intrusions, the problem that looms largest for Florida-and other post-crash survival guide authors-is that the national economic calamity hasn't fully played itself out, meaning that the ability of any observer to describe the specifics of its turnaround are necessarily limited.
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“In his usual lucid and compelling way, Florida argues that elected officials ‘need to get over their love affair with big renewal projects’ and steer money toward neighborhood ventures that improve people’s lives.” (Harvard Business Review)

“Enticingly contrarian” (New York Post)

The Great Reset is an interesting, provocative and intelligent book. Florida is a witty and entertaining writer…It’s well worth reading as a starting point for the future that’s coming our way whether we’re ready or not.” (—Miami Herald)

“Richard Florida can be counted among the great prophets of our age. This incredibly interesting and well-written commentator on the socio-economics of the modern era has hit yet another grand slam, eclipsing his phenomenal ‘Rise of the Creative Class.’” (Falls Church News-Press)

“A breath of fresh air for anyone hoping that Americans (and economists) will learn from their past mistakes.” (—The Daily Beast)

“A thoughtful, generally hopeful assessment of where we are now, how we got here—and how we can rebuild in the future.” (BizEd magazine)

[U]seful in inspiring thinking about the future of communities, of different types of jobs, and of the nature of work itself.” (The Conference Board Review)

The Great Reset shows how new technology and the new geographies of living and working come together to drive recovery….must reading for anyone who wants to understand where we are now and where we are headed.” (—Chris Anderson, editor, Wired magazine)

“This timely and thought-provoking book gives us important insights into the reshaping of America’s economic and physical landscape.” (—Jeffrey D. Sachs, director of the Earth Institute, Columbia University)

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1 edition (April 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061937193
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061937194
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #572,212 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In the first chapter, Richard Florida explains that peaks and valleys are part of the lifecycle of any society as "obsolete and dysfunctional systems and practices" collapse, replaced by "the seeds of innovation and invention, of creativity and entrepreneurship." The First Great Reset occurred in the 1870s, the Second in the 1930s, and a Third is now developing. "The promise of the current Reset is the opportunity for a life made better not by ownership of real estate, appliances, cars, and all manner of material goods, but of greater flexibility and lower levels of debt, of more time with family and friends, greater promise of personal development, and access to more and better experiences. All organisms and all systems experience the cycles of life, death, and rebirth."

Literally, a reset means "to set again or renew" (Webster), "to set again or differently" (Oxford English Dictionary). As Florida makes crystal clear, however, a Reset is not an invitation to reload with the same "ammunition" (i.e. values, mindset, perspectives, strategies, and tactics) because, more often than not, that "ammunition" of the status quo helps to explain the emergence of a Great Reset in response to its inadequacies and thus is among its causes. This is precisely what Florida has in mind when observing that economic systems "do not exist in the abstract; they are embedded within the geographic fabric of the society - the way land is used, the locations of homes and businesses, the infrastructure that ties people, places, and commerce together. These factors combine to shape production, consumption, and innovation, and as they change, so do the basic engines of the economy. A reconfiguration of this economic landscape is the real distinguishing characteristic of a Great Reset.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent follow up to Richard Florida (RF) first two seminal books. In the first The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It's Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life in 2003, he introduced the concept of the Creative Class. The greater the % of the creative class within a region, the more prosperous its economy. In the second book Who's Your City?: How the Creative Economy Is Making Where to Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life in 2008, he introduced the concept of "megaregions" such as the New York, Boston, Washington DC corridor. Those regions have a high concentration of the creative class types. He rebutted The World Is Flat 3.0: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century theory and stated the world is increasingly spikier as the creative talent is clustering in just the megaregions.

Here, RF leverages his concepts of the Creative Class and megaregions to develop an outlook for major cities. He states that the financial crisis will actually strengthen the two worldwide leading financial centers: London and New York. Historically, leading financial centers have lasted much longer than their nations' economic supremacy. London remains the preeminent financial center even though the U.K. has not been a dominant economy since before WWII. London and NY will rebound better than the second tier of financial centers such as Tokyo, Frankfurt, and Singapore.
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As we think about the "crash" of 2008-2009 and the lessons and parallels to be drawn from it the title of Prof. Florida's book promises a broader perspective on what the next stage in the US economy might be. The overarching consequences of this would appear to be the need for a deleveraging of all sectors of the economy: consumer, business and government and one would hope that a book with this title would address these issues head on. Not so. What we get here is a thin volume long on broad generalizations mostly tainted with the political correctness of academia. It reads like exactly what it is: a puffed up version of a popular article the author wrote for The Atlantic. We find in here one somewhat original premise: that depressions stimulate creativity leading to what Florida terms "resets". He cites the depressions of the 1870's and 1930's as examples but this is only explored in a very superficial manner.
Reading this it is hard not to be reminded of the old adage that: "if your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." Florida is an "urban planner" by trade so he is easily distracted by notions of "economic geography". His risible assessment of Detroit's problems, for example, centers on its lack of urban density relative to other urban areas in that part of the country. For the most part he fails to explore (or even indicate an awareness) of the destructive influence of government with two notable exceptions. First, he does state in general terms that there should be less "top down" planning and more local control. He also seems to advocate less zoning and more flexible land use. Towards the end of chapter twelve (which also included the nonsense about Detroit) Prof.
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