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The Fourth Revolution: The Global Race to Reinvent the State | [John Micklethwait, Adrian Wooldridge]

The Fourth Revolution: The Global Race to Reinvent the State

From the best-selling authors of The Right Nation, a visionary argument that our current crisis in government is nothing less than the fourth radical transition in the history of the nation-state. Dysfunctional government: It' s become a cliché, and most of us are resigned to the fact that nothing is ever going to change. As John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge show us, that is a seriously limited view of things. In fact, there have been three great revolutions in government in the history of the modern world.
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Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling authors of The Right Nation, a visionary argument that our current crisis in government is nothing less than the fourth radical transition in the history of the nation-state. Dysfunctional government: It' s become a cliché, and most of us are resigned to the fact that nothing is ever going to change. As John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge show us, that is a seriously limited view of things. In fact, there have been three great revolutions in government in the history of the modern world. The West has led these revolutions, but now we are in the midst of a fourth revolution, and it is Western government that is in danger of being left behind. Now, things really are different.

The West's debt load is unsustainable. The developing world has harvested the low-hanging fruits. Industrialization has transformed all the peasant economies it had left to transform, and the toxic side effects of rapid developing world growth are adding to the bill. From Washington to Detroit, from Brasilia to New Delhi, there is a dual crisis of political legitimacy and political effectiveness.

The Fourth Revolution crystallizes the scope of the crisis and points forward to our future. The authors enjoy extraordinary access to influential figures and forces the world over, and the book is a global tour of the innovators in how power is to be wielded. The age of big government is over; the age of smart government has begun. Many of the ideas the authors discuss seem outlandish now, but the center of gravity is moving quickly. This tour drives home a powerful argument: that countries' success depends overwhelmingly on their ability to reinvent the state. And that much of the West - and particularly the United States - is failing badly in its task.

China is making rapid progress with government reform at the same time as America is falling badly behind. Washington is gridlocked, and America is in danger of squandering its huge advantages from its powerful economy because of failing government. And flailing democracies like India look enviously at China's state-of-the-art airports and expanding universities. The race to get government right is not just a race of efficiency. It is a race to see which political values will triumph in the 21st century - the liberal values of democracy and liberty or the authoritarian values of command and control. The stakes could not be higher.

©2014 John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge (P)2014 Recorded Books

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    Daniel K. 03-30-15
    Daniel K. 03-30-15
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    "A must read for everyone wondering whats going?"

    Both major parties: The GOP and DEMS have been corrupted by special interests making meaningful reforms virtually impossible.The only breed of politicians who can save America and indeed the world are the Libertarians. Corporations and the average citizen ought to play by the same rules.Neither should be bailed out by the tax payer.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leonard Honolulu, HI 06-27-14
    Leonard Honolulu, HI 06-27-14 Member Since 2015

    Love to Bungee!!

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    "A Needed Book For the Times, but . . . ."

    I had seen an interview of the authors by Charlie Rose and the book really piqued my interest, so I was very happy to seen it offered by Audible. The authors lay out how western governments developed through their various iterations across three and a half revolutions, and then look at development of government/society in the developing world. With one exception, the highlight the strengths, weaknesses and dysfunctions effecting all and hence the need for a Fourth Revolution.

    In the U.S., their predictions and analysis appear to be right on the mark. However, given the lack of intestinal fortitude displayed by American politicians, the authors' call for action will probably go the way of Bowles-Simpson.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Amazon Customer CENTREVILLE, VA, United States 08-10-14
    Amazon Customer CENTREVILLE, VA, United States 08-10-14 Member Since 2008

    CryptoSenex

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    "Optimistic meditations on the future"
    What did you love best about The Fourth Revolution?

    Nice survey of history with unusual insights into some of the traditional thinkers. Good survey of the status quo, how we got here and a path forward. Wide ranging analysis of modern Liberal Democracy.


    What didn’t you like about Chris Sorensen’s performance?

    Sing song; every sentence drops on the end, every sentence exteeeennnnds the Finnnnaalll wooordss. Comes off very patronizing and distracts from interesting material.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    The variety of successful alternatives to the bloatocracy. Swedish and German efforts to build a sustainable governance structure on a liberal democratic base.


    Any additional comments?

    The authors describe some paths forward. I think that those paths are a trifle pollyanna. I agree that if we are to succeed we must find ways to solve this problem, but I think the authors ignore the real obstacles. On the other hand, the authors have done far more research than I, so it is worth continuing the dialogue.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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