Product Description and Author Information
About the Book
In this bold history and manifesto, a former White House director of economic policy exposes the economic, political, and cultural cracks that wealthy nations face and makes the case for transforming those same vulnerabilities into sources of strength—and the foundation of a national renewal.
America and other developed countries, including Germany, Japan, France, and Great Britain are in desperate straits. The loss of community, a contracting jobs market, immigration fears, rising globalization, and poisonous partisanship—the adverse price of unprecedented prosperity—are pushing these nations to the brink.
Acclaimed author, economist, hedge fund manager, and presidential advisor Todd G. Buchholz argues that without a sense of common purpose and shared identity, nations can collapse. The signs are everywhere: Reckless financial markets encourage people to gamble with other people’s money. A coddling educational culture removes the stigma of underachievement. Community traditions such as American Legion cookouts and patriotic parades are derided as corny or jingoistic. Newcomers are watched with suspicion and contempt.
As Buchholz makes clear, the United States is not the first country to suffer these fissures. In The Price of Prosperity he examines the fates of previous empires—those that have fallen as well as those extricated from near-collapse and the ruins of war thanks to the vision and efforts of strong leaders. He then identifies what great leaders do to fend off the forces that tear nations apart.
Is the loss of empire inevitable? No. Can a community spirit be restored in the U.S. and in Europe? The answer is a resounding yes. We cannot retrieve the jobs of our grandparents, but we can embrace uniquely American traditions, while building new foundations for growth and change. Buchholz offers a roadmap to recovery, and calls for a revival of national pride and patriotism to help us come together once again to protect the nation and ensure our future.
A lively, well-documented and important book. For at least a century, intellectuals have been heralding the death of the nation state, and often applauding it. But Todd Buchholz thinks it would be a disaster. He explains that the economic successes of our nations in some ways undermine them from within. But rather than regretting the past or lamenting the present, this book suggests important things we can do - above all by strengthening the symbols and histories that create identity and help us face the future together —Robert Tombs, professor of history at Cambridge University and author of The English and Their History
In sum, this isn’t your typical economics tome. But it is typical of Buchholz. His books are always entertaining, often insightful, and sometimes downright scary. What they never are is boring. —Weekly Standard
A refreshing book that offers an alternative to the failing shibboleths of the day. —Kirkus Reviews
Targeting a general audience with clarity and humor, Buchholz’s insights will interest readers concerned about sustaining national unity. —Library Journal
“highly entertaining, far-sighted, and enjoyably acerbic’. —Sunday Times (London)
Sure, The Price of Prosperity is about economics--sort of. But that’s just a jumping-off point for this fascinating romp through sociology, anthropology, politics, and above all history. Buchholz’s big lesson is that prosperity is not enough to hold a country together; we need culture, community, patriotism--and babies! But he draws readers to that conclusion with a crackling good read--a tour de force that leaps through time and space and is as entertaining as it is educational. —Alan S. Blinder, former Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve Board and professor of economics at Princeton University
... An interesting view on what makes-and breaks-a wealthy nation. —Publishers Weekly
A ‘must read’ for anyone searching for a path to American economic renewal. The elephant in the room in the 2016 presidential campaign is the question of whether America is in decline. In this powerful and provocative book, Todd Buchholz recalls stumbles of other rich nations in history, and he offers a clear roadmap for America to regain her footing today. —Glenn Hubbard, former chair of the President's Council of Economic Advisers and Dean of Columbia University's Graduate School of Business
Buchholz is surely right that fostering a stronger sense of common identity is likely to be part of the answer to sustaining public support for open trade and borders. —Financial Times
A lively, well-documented and important book. For at least a century, intellectuals have been heralding the death of the nation state, and often applauding it. But Todd Buchholz thinks it would be a disaster. He explains that the economic successes of our nations in some ways undermine them from within. But rather than regretting the past or lamenting the present, this book suggests important things we can do - above all by strengthening the symbols and histories that create identity and help us face the future together —Lawrence H. Summers, former U.S. Treasury Secretary and President Emeritus of Harvard University
Todd Buchholz’s The Price of Prosperity is loaded with witty and provocative insight into the vexing question of our era: where do the prosperous nations go from here? Inevitable collapse, perpetual stagnation, or renewed purpose and prosperity? —Michael J. Boskin, former chair of the President's Council of Economic Advisers and professor of economics at Stanford University