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Publisher's Summary

The author of 12 acclaimed books, Robert B. Reich is a Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and has served in three national administrations.

While many blamed Wall Street for the financial meltdown, Aftershock points a finger at a national economy in which wealth is increasingly concentrated at the top - and where a grasping middle class simply does not have the resources to remain viable.

©2010 Robert B. Reich (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"Reich's thesis is well argued and frighteningly plausible: without a return to the 'basic bargain' (that workers are also consumers), the "aftershock" of the Great Recession includes long-term high unemployment and a political backlash - a crisis, he notes with a sort of grim optimism, that just might be painful enough to encourage necessary structural reforms." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • SG
  • 01-25-12

EXCELLENT!

I think Reich hits the nail on the head! His assessment and suggestions for having our economy get back on track is worth listening too.

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  • David
  • United States
  • 01-15-12

Love it or hate it, but it makes you think

Any additional comments?

I can't say whether or not I agree with Prof. Reich's opinions, but they are well laid out and they make you stop and think.

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  • David
  • Bellingham, WA, United States
  • 12-05-11

A way forward

Would you listen to Aftershock again? Why?

Robert Reich has written a pithy, accessible explanation of the core economic problem surrounding income disparity. HIs analysis is spot-on, and although you may not fully agree with his proposed solution(s), I certainly wish he had been on President Obama's economic A team.

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    5 out of 5 stars

What we need to do.

Robert Reich present a clear, concise and logical explanation of what has happened in our society and economy in recent years, some of the causes and what we need to do. His presentation of income inequality in U.S. society and its consequences are particularly enlightening and echo the analyses of many other economists, sociologists and political scientists writing today. After listening to this book, if you want more in depth analysis, you might read (not on Audible) the books Spirit Level by Wilkinson and Pickett (Reich wrote an introduction) or Poverty and Income Distribution by Wolff--there are also many others. But Reich makes the case succinctly. Definitely worth a listen.

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    5 out of 5 stars

A concise view of how we got to where we are

Having finished "Grand Pursuit" immediately before, Reich's book seems a refreshingly frank and terse coda to Nasar's sweeping and somewhat meandering history of economics and politics. Reich's command of his own narration makes his treatise that much more compelling.

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  • Lane
  • Onida, SD, United States
  • 09-19-11

Not what I expected

Reich did a great job reading his book and he presented his information and opinions in a well thought out and easily understandable way. He has some very interesting ideas and I definitely learned a few things so its worth a listen.

I purchased the book thinking it would be a good explanation of the past recession as well as his thoughts on what our future looks like and practical things that we can do to prepare for it. Although he provided a good explanation of the reasons he believes the recession happened, most of the rest of the book consists of him explaining his liberal ideas about what is wrong with the country and what he thinks needs to be done on a large scale to get the country back on track. He doesn't give any thoughts on what can be done on a personal level to prepare for an 'aftershock'. I realize that I can't hold my false expectations against the content of the book but I was disappointed to get a bunch of liberal ideas instead of practical unbiased suggestions.

If you agree with redistribution of wealth, universal healthcare, and stronger unions you will enjoy the book. If you don't, you can still learn from it but won't find it as useful as you may have expected.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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This man makes sense!

Robert Reich knows what he is talking about and makes a lot of sense. This is a short book, but well worth listening to. IT is not really a story just like a long paper; but good!

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The Problems are Obvious; the Solutions are Not

It's interesting that Reich agrees with conservative economists about the problems in the US economy (inadequate incomes and too much debt) and possible future outcomes. Even John Keynes noted that excess printing of money would accrue wealth to the wealthy and leave the remaining population in the dust. Dylan Grice recently wrote about how inflating the currency is correlated with Romans persecuting Christians, medieval Europe burning witches, the French Revolution's guillotine, and the Germans' slaughter of Jews, Gypsies, etc. Bad things happen when currencies devalue, and that has consistently been paired with inequality in wealth. So, to sum up; if you want to study US economy, many other books are superior to this. I recommend John Mauldin's Endgame, James Rickard's Currency Wars, Peter Schiff's How an Economy Grows and Why it Fails, and Reinhart and Rogoff's This Time is Different.

Reich is right that we live in a critical time; some of his solutions are unsustainable, and would make things worse, in my opinion. No solution will be easy, but ignoring our problems may be deadly.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Just A
  • SPRINGFIELD, MO, United States
  • 08-15-11

Completely one sided with straw man arguments.....

THIS BOOK IS PROPAGANDA TO THE CORE... If you are looking for a propaganda piece that sounds like it was written by the Federal Reserve itself then buy this book...

If you want the TRUTH about our financial mess then buy books like Meltdown, or any books by Ron Paul or Peter Schiff...

To give an example of how far out of wack this guy is- this guy gives the federal reserve credit for 'guiding us for 14 years' into prosperity.. This genius author should have checked how the Federal Reserve was actually created in secret on Jekyll Island. Then he should check into how quickly the severe 1921 depression (that noone hears about) was over very quickly because the government did nothing and let the free market correct itself...

But this ignorant author wants to act as though the reason we go into eventual financial prosperity following the great depression was because the Federal Reserve was given more power??? Oh my... This author is ignorant at best..


The author sets up straw man oposition claims that are half truths at best and knocks the straw man down to give the apearance of winning the argument... Thomas E Woods, Ron Paul, or Peter Schif could chew this author up and spit him out while they are sleep talking...

If you want proof just look into the past... in 2005-2006 while everyone was saying everything was great and there is not going to be any kind of collapse, the deseneters from that opinion were who? Thomas E Woods, Ron Paul, and Peter Schiff.... Now that the collapse has happened, morons like this author want to jump up and say he knows what the problem is.... I dare you to look into what this author had to say before this collapse... If you look into what he was saying before the collapse I seriously doubt you will buy this book.

4 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • Lakewood, CO, United States
  • 10-19-12

A primer in modern Kainsian economics

Where does Aftershock rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Middle of the pack. There are a lot of things that I strongly disagree with in the book, but I won't argue that it isn't well written and narrated.

What did you like best about this story?

I come from a much more libertarian, Austrian economics point of view and while some of the ideas proposed in the book terrify me, it is well written and does provide a logical explanation as to why they think a Kaisian approach is the best solution to our economic challenges that lie ahead.

Any additional comments?

There are some downright disturbing proposals in this book including the federal subsidy for earners making less than $40k per year to bring them up to a better standard of living. Of course to fund this he proposes things like a 100% tax on any earnings over $500k. While I will agree that the concentration of wealth to a very small segment of the population has led, in part, to our current economic challenges, his solutions fail to really address the size and scope of government, the perils of Europe in their attempts to create a more just economic system, and where the real political power in DC lies. The book is interesting and educational, but I don't for a second think Reich is on the right track with his solutions.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful