That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back

Unabridged / Go to Abridged Audiobook

Publisher: Macmillan Audio

Date: September 2011

Duration: 16 hours 54 minutes


America is in trouble. We face four major challenges on which our future depends, and we are failing to meet them-and if we delay any longer, soon it will be too late for us to pass along the American dream to future generations.
In That Used to Be Us, Thomas L. Friedman, one of our most influential columnists, and Michael Mandelbaum, one of our leading foreign policy thinkers, offer both a wake-up call and a call to collective action. They analyze the four challenges we face-globalization, the revolution in information technology, the nation's chronic deficits, and our pattern of excessive energy consumption-and spell out what we need to do now to sustain the American dream and preserve American power in the world. They explain how the end of the Cold War blinded the nation to the need to address these issues seriously, and how China's educational successes, industrial might, and technological prowess remind us of the ways in which 'that used to be us.' They explain how the paralysis of our political system and the erosion of key American values have made it impossible for us to carry out the policies the country urgently needs.
And yet Friedman and Mandelbaum believe that the recovery of American greatness is within reach. They show how America's history, when properly understood, offers a five-part formula for prosperity that will enable us to cope successfully with the challenges we face. They offer vivid profiles of individuals who have not lost sight of the American habits of bold thought and dramatic action. They propose a clear way out of the trap into which the country has fallen, a way that includes the rediscovery of some of our most vital traditions and the creation of a new thirdparty movement to galvanize the country.
That Used to Be Us is both a searching exploration of the American condition today and a rousing manifesto for American renewal.


  • Anonymous

    For people confused about the state of the United States today and how did we get to where we are so quickly, this is a great book to show the wrong turns america took. But it also illustrates the path to our salvation from doom. We have it within US to save America. We just need to do it.

  • Bill Kerans

    Possibly the most important book of the 21st century thus far. A rational prescription for America's future. Every member of Congress and the White House should be locked in a room and required to listen to it until it sinks in.

  • Trules

    I had a hard time returning this audio book; it was SO GOOD. but i see it's not for sale and ok, i want to listen to other books. But this should be REQUIRED listening/reading for every American who needs to hear our real state of the union, a country painfully in decline which must re-invent itself to thrive in the 21st century. As the authors say: education, immigration, infrastructure, energy research & development in the modern world of IT and the internet. Mr. Friedman told us years ago, "the world is flat", which meant everyone could now compete more universally, which resulted in many nations surpassing America in all of the above. We have to educate our children better, demand more of ourselves, sacrifice more, compromise politically (between our 2 dysfunctional parties), raise taxes, cut some entitlements, and raise the bar of our competitive skills again if we want to be the country that "used to be us".

  • PSH

    This book was fascinating and frustrating. It points out among other things, how detrimental the polarization of the Republican and Democratic parties over the past several years has been for our country. There is so much food for thought in this book not only about why we as a country are not what we used to be but what kind of political, environmental and educational chanes we need to make if we are to succeed again.

That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back

by Michael Mandelbaum, Thomas L. Friedman

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That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back, Michael Mandelbaum, Thomas L. Friedman