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This book is enlightening and enlightened. It describes which features have led to continued success of nations, as well as the common features of unsuccessful one. As a result it is a cautionary tale. But Mr. Buchholz not only diagnoses the problem he also prescribes a cure. Leaders would be wise to listen.
This book hovers around excellent, but falls a bit flat. I believe this will be one of the great topics of the early 21st Century as we watch the most prosperous nations of the Western world struggle to maintain a high standard of living. Some of these great nations will reconstitute and find a way forward, but some will founder.
This book makes the case that prosperous nations are at great risk of collapse under certain conditions. The authors further explains why he believes those conditions have arisen in both Europe and the United States. Unchecked immigration, cultural diffusion and catastrophic debt are common themes in other books as well as this one. However Mr. Buchholz does touch on the newer phenomena of in the 21st Century. He discusses the Anti-Nationalist trend where holidays, heroes, and national myths are denounced in favor of political conformity. The book uses many very current examples.
The main downside to the book is a rather robust section in the middle. The author delves deep into a seemingly unrelated history of Alexander the Great and then Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. While somewhat interesting, the author does not strongly tie these lengthy biographies into the theme of his book very well. If readers want to hear about great exploits of men who defined a nation, then there are better books out there. I wanted this book to stay focused on the dangers of prosperity.
Still...the book is an interesting read and scratches the surface on what is likely to be a major topic for the next 25 years or more...