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Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling author of Saving Capitalism and The Work of Nations, a passionate, clear-eyed manifesto on why we must restore the idea of the common good to the center of our economics and politics.
With the warmth and lucidity that have made him one of our most important public voices, Robert B. Reich makes the case for a generous, inclusive understanding of the American project, centering on the moral obligations of citizenship. Rooting his argument in everyday reality and common sense, Reich demonstrates the existence of a common good, and argues that it is this that defines a society or a nation. Societies and nations undergo virtuous cycles that reinforce and build the common good, as well as vicious cycles that undermine it. Over the course of the past five decades, Reich contends, America has been in a slowly accelerating vicious cycle - one that can and must be reversed. But first we need to weigh what really matters, and how we as a country should relate to honor, shame, patriotism, truth, and the meaning of leadership.
Powerful, urgent, and utterly vital, this is a heartfelt missive from one of our foremost political thinkers: a fundamental statement about the purpose of society and a cri de coeur to save America's soul.
©2018 Robert B. Reich (P)2018 Random House Audio
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Critic Reviews

  "Brief but well-argued...a provocative essay." (Kirkus)
"Reich's lucidly defining and empowering call for revitalized civic awareness - complete with an enticing list of recommended reading and discussion guide - is an ideal catalyst for book-group conversations." (Booklist)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By JCH on 02-23-18

Exceptional data drops with perfect explanation as to why the numbers changed

This book was great. Had moments where I thought I was listening to Inequality for All and Saving Capitalism. When it comes to sound progressive thought, Reich is the best. Highly recommend this book.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Jean on 03-15-18


This is a very timely essay. Reich takes a look at Adam Smith’s economic design, ideal of truth and equitable competition. Reich states we are a nation of law and order bound on the common good. He says the enemies of the common good range from the slumlords to megabanks and untrammeled hedge funds. These all disregard the rules of society for selfish gains. Reich stresses the importance of the truth; he proceeds to point out the problems caused by lies.

Robert B. Reich is following the lead of Sandra Day O’Connor who is advocating the renewal of civic education to enable people “to work with others; to separate facts and logic from values and beliefs”. I found this to be a most interesting discussion and a good review of citizenship. This book is easy to read. My only complaint is the repetition of key points throughout the book.

Robert B. Reich is a professor of public policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California Berkeley. He served in the administration of President Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and was Clinton’s Secretary of Labor from 1993 to 1997. Reich narrator the book himself. The book is just over five hours.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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