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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

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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • JCH
  • Winston-Salem, NC
  • 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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 03-15-18

Edifying

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Excellent but sad

We need to read this book. It explains our history, government and what's gone wrong and suggests repair.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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A must read for everyone

It explains why we're in the mess we're in as a nation and what we should do about it to correct it

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Great book

it is great book to explain what common good ia.

it is timely and muar read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • T. Durden
  • Seattle, WA United States
  • 02-28-18

Outstanding Material as Usual.

There is always something you can find to divide yourself from those you disagree with. How about something that does the opposite.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Excellent....but

Would you listen to The Common Good again? Why?

Not really. The thesis posited by Prof. Reich is compelling, and well explained enough to make a second reading unnecessary,

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Common Good?

The first two sections.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Avoid changing his voice to sound like, for example, Lincoln, or other personalities. I think Reich has no need to "act" his quotes.

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

Not that type of book

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • MLHanna
  • Laingsburg, MI United States
  • 06-28-18

Sobering but important

Well, if this Administration doesn't have you angry & depressed enough already, this thorough review of the manipulation of power by the immoral & greedy will certainly do it. Understanding the importance of the Common Good is imperative. Is it too late to stem the tide? We can only pray not... and mobilize NOW.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Gives context for what is happening in our lives.

Reich Rocks, pulls together many of the loose munchies around us into a nicely baked loaf of sweet smelling cohesive and nutritious bread of life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Every American should read/ listen to this book.

This book could stop the current finger pointing and maybe help us to come to understand how to navigate back to considering The Common Good in respect to government and society.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful