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The Untied States of America

Polarization, Fracturing, and Our Future

Juan Enriquez

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

Can a country be like a marriage that has run out of cash and steam, resulting in the inevitable frank discussions about just who is pulling his or her own weight? Eventually, even those who love each other sometimes conclude they cannot stay together.

Juan Enriquez’s unique insights into the financial, political, and cultural issues we face will provoke shock and surprise and lead you to ask the question no one has yet put on the table: Could “becoming untied” ever happen here? It’s a question made especially relevant when we are faced with such unpromising facts as:

• At no other time have we had the unwelcome convergence in which the three key sectors of business, government, and consumers are so tapped out due to debt that each lacks the financial wherewithal to come to the rescue of the others.

• Most assets are not being used for productive purposes but for speculation, resulting in people lacking incentives to create real wealth, focusing instead on buying, selling, and flipping real estate.

• As religion starts to mix with politics, we have a culture that allows us to fall behind what were previously third world nations, because we are now treating science the way we did sex in the 1950s, banning or burying evolution theories and research into promising lifesaving areas such as stem-cell research.

When the enemy was outside—for example, the threat perceived when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik and people feared America would lose the brain race—we rallied. Now the enemy is within, and we polarize. Defaming the legitimacy of people on the “other” side becomes the currency of the day, where people in blue states are seen as godless liberal elitists and those in red states are seen as, well, rednecks.

Citizenship, Enriquez says, is like buying into a national brand. If the brand promises one thing and delivers another, could it then have the same fate as a tired product on a supermarket shelf, eroding, losing support, even disappearing? Countries, even one as powerful and successful as America, live on fault lines. When a fault line splits, it’s near impossible to put things back together again. What America will look like in fifty years depends on what we do today to act on the issues raised in The Untied States of America.

Also available as an eBook

From the Hardcover edition.

Publishers Weekly Review

Aug 29, 2005 – American history, both distant and recent, is troubled with violence and schisms that constantly threaten the foundations of the country. The country has endured a civil war, two world wars, slavery, genocide and now, of course, the raging battle between the red and blue states. Are we on the brink of dissolution? That's the question Enriquez poses in this fact-filled, statistic-laden book. For more than 200 pages, Enriquez, the founding director of the Life Sciences Project at Harvard Business School, gives readers as many reasons as he can for why America may be headed toward an un-united future. On occasion this means glossing over pesky details and relying on simple generalizations, such as lumping together various quotes about the deficit and social security to maximize the sense of impending doom. Enriquez skips from topic to topic, relying on the fractured narrative layout (perhaps deliberately reminiscent of essayist Paul Metcalf's work) to heighten the book's sense of urgency. The facts, dates and numbers he presents are undoubtedly interesting, but in the end they don't add up to much. What's lacking is the complexity and depth that come with focused, developed arguments, the kind that provide a meaningful context for statistical information. (On sale Nov. 15)
The Untied States of America
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  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Social Science
  • Published: Nov 22, 2005
  • Publisher: Crown/Archetype
  • Seller: Random House, LLC
  • Print Length: 368 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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