Reviews

Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

What's "bad" about our economy? It's globally dependent, dominated by financial services, and addicted to risk. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

Phillips, a political and economic commentator for over three decades and author of numerous books including American Theocracy (2006) and American Dynasty (2004), claims the decline in US hegemony has started as a result of financial sector excesses. He views the bursting of the housing and mortgage credit bubble as marking the beginning of the slide. Other contributing factors include reliance on excessive debt creation and expansion of credit, development of exotic and poorly understood credit instruments, depreciation of the dollar, peaking in oil production, climate change, poor positioning in natural resource competition and protectionism, political correctness, and religious fundamentalism. Each of these and others are supported by the evidence he cites. The 21st-century destiny of the US, he predicts, is to follow the trajectories of 17th-century Spain, the Dutch in the 18th century, and 19th- and early-20th-century England. He predicts that by 2030 hegemony will have passed to central Asian powers comprising Russia, India, China, and Iran. On the bright side, he notes that after 40 years or so following the fall, US citizens will become content to live in a second-rate nation. A timely but pessimistic read. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers and professionals. E. L. Whalen formerly, Clarke College


Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Noted political commentator Phillips (American Theocracy) presents a compelling economic and historical analysis of the decline of the United States as a superpower. In fact, he has accurately predicted many of today's political and economic conditions, such as the bursting of the housing bubble, the reduction of oil supplies, the devaluation of the U.S. dollar, and the decreased role of the dollar in world trade. Phillips attributes the country's present financial chaos to politicians' shortsightedness and financiers' irresponsible decisions. He also addresses the related topics of financial schemes, such as the creation of new financial products from debt and credit, and financialization, a term Phillips uses to describe America's movement from manufacturing to financial services. Despite his pessimism, Phillips gives the reader hope by drawing parallels with other periods in history and showing that catastrophic downturns are often cyclic and may even be expected once a superpower has reached a pinnacle (as with the global domination of the Dutch and the British in eras past). Because this book skillfully explains complex issues relevant to the American public, it is recommended for both academic and public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 12/07.]--Caroline Geck, Kean Univ., Union, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.