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Back to Work Audiobook

Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy

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Publisher's Summary

President Bill Clinton gives us his views on the challenges facing the United States today and why government matters—presenting his ideas on restoring economic growth, energy, job creation, resolving the mortgage crisis, and financial responsibility, and offering a plan to get us "back in the future business". He explains how we got into the current economic crisis, and lays down a plan for long-term prosperity. He also offers specific recommendations on how we can put people back to work, increase bank lending and corporate investment, double our exports, restore our manufacturing base, and create new businesses. He supports President Obama's emphasis on green technology, saying that changing the way we produce and consume energy is the strategy most likely to spark a fast-growing economy while enhancing our national security.

Clinton also stresses that we need a strong private sector and a smart government working together to restore prosperity and progress, demonstrating that whenever we've given in to the temptation to blame government for all of our problems, we've lost our ability to produce sustained economic growth and shared prosperity. He believes our ability to compete in the 21st century is dependent on our willingness to invest in infrastructure: we need faster broadband, a state-of-the-art national electrical grid, modernized water and sewer systems, and the best airports, trains, roads, and bridges.

"There is simply no evidence that we can succeed in the 21st century with an anti-government strategy," writes Clinton, based on "a philosophy grounded in 'you're on your own' rather than 'we're all in this together.'" He believes that conflict between government and the private sector has proved to be good politics but has produced bad policies, giving us a weak economy with not enough jobs, growing income inequality and poverty, and a decline in our competitive position. In the real world, cooperation works much better than conflict, and "Americans need victories in real life."

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2011 Bill Clinton (P)2011 Random House

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  •  
    Kenneth LEESBURG, VA, United States 01-28-12
    Kenneth LEESBURG, VA, United States 01-28-12 Member Since 2010

    Old & fat, but strong; American, Chinese, & Indian (sort of); Ph.D. in C.S.; strategy, economics & stability theory; trees & machining.

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    "You Think !?!"

    How do you rate a book explaining that pro wrestling is fake? Are there really people out there who think that the Jews caused 911, or for that matter that Saddam Hussein had anything to do with it?

    The story line of this book earnestly explains that a lack of policing was a major cause of the sub-prime bubble and subsequent collapse of world markets up to and including much of the current trouble in Europe. Seriously, are there people who don’t know this? If so let me tell you they were crooks and at least 10% of them knew they were crooks, as did an awful lot of the smart money. For decades every Ph.D. in Physics has known that Black-Scholes is based on a bogus assumption. Do you really think that men like Greenspan or Summers had never overheard such discussions?

    Perhaps we don’t know how to talk about this. A failure to police Wall Street would have been referred to as a failure of regulations when I was young. The trouble is that this term has been cleverly co-opted into a euphemism for monopoly protecting legislation.

    But the wonkish part of the book is excellent. Literally, a systematic list of the top 50 things government should do, prioritized and color coded. Not exactly bedtime reading, but if you’re into this sort of thing, it’s among the best of the best in this genera.

    Also there is a world class centrist intellect on display in this book. If you’re old enough to remember centrist intellectuals, the book may have significant nostalgia value. It prompted my wife to ask rather the constitution prevented him from running again.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam Rosenfield 03-07-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Thank you Mr. President!"

    My optimism of the future has increased thanks to this book and your words.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Fresno, CA 05-10-13
    Mike Fresno, CA 05-10-13
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    "This is a great book!"
    What did you love best about Back to Work?

    Don't have time to take a class for fun? This book is like taking a graduate course in business and macro economics taught by Josiah Barlett! It might be a little dense and full of information but don't be afraid to take notes, look at the charts and graphs, and listen to it more than once.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carl Stough Kingman AZ 12-03-12
    Carl Stough Kingman AZ 12-03-12

    Retired

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    "The Best President"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I just wish that our lawmakers had the brains of Bill Clinton! Great book!!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Back to Work?

    Where to economy is and how we got there.


    What about Bill Clinton’s performance did you like?

    The man is the Greatest orator ever!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    How great words get overlooked.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alex Friedman Walnut Creek, CA United States 11-28-12
    Alex Friedman Walnut Creek, CA United States 11-28-12 Member Since 2005
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    "Thorough, engaging, and well thought out"
    What did you love best about Back to Work?

    The depth and breadth of the narrative, and the careful thinking that went into it, are noteworthy. The narration was superb.


    What about Bill Clinton’s performance did you like?

    The clarity of the exposition, the emphasis where appropriate, and most especially the fact that the author was the narrator. Of course, President Clinton brings a lot of credibility to the discussion.


    Any additional comments?

    This is the best treatment of the current situation and the path forward that I've heard, of the 6 or so that I've heard from Audible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Nash Northville, MI United States 06-25-12
    D. Nash Northville, MI United States 06-25-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Great Content - difficult listen, IMO."

    Bill is a brilliant man. He read the book quite well. My problem with this book is that he refers to charts and graphs, which naturally I can't see. The first part of the book involved quite a bit of back-slapping...he had an excellent presidency and knows it. However, as he hits upon deeper subjects, it was more difficult to follow for me. I needed time to think about what he was saying - I needed to press pause. If this were a book, I would have bookmarked it to return to a topic in which I was very interested. Difficult to do while listening.

    Please take into consideration that I am not the hugest fan of non-fiction. I did enjoy this book, but I feel as if I have to go back and read it in hard copy.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Denise Las Vegas, NV, United States 06-04-12
    Denise Las Vegas, NV, United States 06-04-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Worth the money"
    Where does Back to Work rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    10


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Back to Work?

    Just listening to an extremely smart man argue his point. It all made such good sense. Now, if only, we could get or leaders to simply understand that at the end of each day, all we really are is just a bunch of people walking around on the same piece of dry land trying to just get along with each other. My neighbors best interest is really my best interest as well.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marie 06-02-12
    Marie 06-02-12

    I'm a teacher overseas. I listen because its nice to hear your native language without music or pictures.

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    "Inspiring"
    If you could sum up Back to Work in three words, what would they be?

    Re-elect Bill Clinton


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Back to Work?

    The research, effort and the clear ideas and pathways to a better functioning relationship between the government and private sector are awe inspiring.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ben Galbraith Palo Alto, CA USA 05-25-12
    Ben Galbraith Palo Alto, CA USA 05-25-12 Member Since 2016
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    "Great Content, Great Narration"

    I'm further to the right than Clinton, but that doesn't change the fact he made an articulate case for his positions, was respectful of other positions, and seemed to act out of a sincere desire to move the country forward.

    A wonderful listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Book Crazy Heart of the South 05-21-12
    Book Crazy Heart of the South 05-21-12
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    "Worth the read!"
    If you could sum up Back to Work in three words, what would they be?

    While this book clearly has a bias there is a great deal solid information about the current economic environment. Much is about the importance of FUTURE thinking if we want future generations to have better opportunities then we have enjoyed. There is no one right answer and moving out of the current situation will not be easy, but we must open our minds and start to listen to each others and get to the table and start debating the options rather then remaining stagnant in political rhetoric.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Chapter 5, company behavior after 9/11 - ethical leadership in business!


    Any additional comments?

    "This will be the best security for maintaining our liberties. A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins."

    Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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