That Used to Be Us

That Used to Be Us Cover

That Used to Be Us

How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back

By Thomas L. Friedman; Michael Mandelbaum

Picador USA, Paperback, 9781250013729, 432pp.

Publication Date: August 21, 2012


A "New York Times Book Review" Editors' Choice
A "Los Angeles Times" Best Book of 2011

In "That Used to Be Us," Thomas L. Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum analyze the four major challenges we face as a country---globalization, the revolution in information technology, chronic deficits, and our pattern of energy consumption---and spell out what we need to do now to preserve American power in the world. The end of the Cold War blinded the nation to the need to address these issues seriously, and China's educational successes, industrial might, and technological prowess in many ways remind us of a time when "that used to be us." But Friedman and Mandelbaum 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. "That Used to Be Us" is both a searching exploration of the American condition today and a rousing manifesto for American renewal.

About the Author
Thomas L. Friedman has won the Pulitzer Prize three times for his work at "The New York Times. "He is the author of two other bestselling books, From Beirut to Jerusalem," "winner of the National Book Award, and The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization,"" He lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with his family.

Michael Mandelbaum is the Christian A. Herter Professor of American Foreign Policy at The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C., where he is also the chairman of the Department of American Foreign Policy. Before joining Johns Hopkins in 1990, Professor Mandelbaum taught at Harvard University, Columbia University and at the United States Naval Academy. He also has taught business executives at the Wharton Advanced Management Program in the Aresty Institute of Executive Education at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

Mandelbaum is the author of 10 books and the editor of 12 more. "Foreign Policy" magazine named him one of the "Top 100 Global Thinkers" of 2010.

His first book, "The Nuclear Question: The United States and Nuclear Weapons", was published in 1979. "The Economist" called it an excellent history of American nuclear policy...a clear, readable book.

Mandelbaum spent a year in the State Department in Washington from 1982-1983 on a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship in the office of Under Secretary of State Lawrence S. Eagleburger, working on security issues.

After publishing three books on nuclear weapons issues, "The Nuclear Question" (1979), "The Nuclear Revolution" (1981) and "The Nuclear Future" (1983), Mandelbaum shifted his focus to the relationship between the Soviet Union and the United States, co-writing two books on the subject, "Reagan and Gorbachev" (1987) and "The Global Rivals" (1988), which was made into a Public Broadcasting series with Bernard Kalb as the host. In 1986 he became a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, where he also was the director of the Council s Project on East-West Relations. In this role, which continued for 17 years until 2003, Mandelbaum became a frequent guest on television and radio, discussing such major issues as the arms race, the fall of the Soviet Union, the war in Iraq and the implications of globalization. He has appeared on "The CBS Evening News", "The News Hour", " Face the Nation", "Larry King Live" and "The Charlie Rose Show", among many other programs.

From 1985-2005 Mandelbaum wrote a regular foreign affairs analysis column for "Newsday". His Op-Ed pieces on foreign affairs have also appeared in "The New York Times", "The Wall Street Journal", "The Washington Post", "The Los Angeles Times", and have been republished in newspapers around the world.

In addition to his newspaper columns, Mandelbaum has written many longer articles for "TIME" Magazine, as well as the journal, "Foreign Affairs", including his provocative 1996 essay entitled Foreign Policy as Social Work (about the foreign policy of the Clinton administration), followed two years later by A Perfect Failure about the war in Kosovo.

In 1988 Mandelbaum published one of his major books, "The Fate of Nations: The Search for National Security in the 19th and 20th Centuries", which the "American Historical Review" called "a tour de force." It is a survey of how a select number of countries have dealt with their security concerns in the modern era. "Publishers Weekly" called it "brilliant and enjoyable.... [Mandelbaum's] knowledge of philosophy, politics, history and economics results in a stunning delineation of centuries of military actions, political maneuverings and cultural uprisings." The World Affairs Councils of America named him one of the most influential people in American foreign policy.

Mandelbaum s 1996 book, "The Dawn of Peace in Europe", received a rave review in "The New York Times Book Review", which called it a brilliant book...the most lucid exposition yet of the post-Cold War order in Europe. It was in this book that he introduced readers to the idea that Europe has become a zone of warlessness a region in which armies are kept small and defense budgets modest because the people and their governments have been able to resolve their differences peacefully through such organizations as the European Union rather than, as in the past, on the field of battle.

In 2002 Mandelbaum published "The Ideas That Conquered the World: Peace, Democracy and Free Markets in the Twenty-first Century", which became an instant classic on the major international themes of the new millennium and has been translated into seven languages, including Chinese and Arabic.

In 2004 he took time out from his usual focus on international relations to write "The Meaning of Sports: Why Americans Watch Baseball, Football and Basketball and What They See When They Do", which analyzes the appeal of team sports in the United States and compares the workings of sports teams to the cooperation necessary in business enterprise. Pete Hamill in "The New York Times" described the book as "a subtle extension of Mandelbaum's own expertise in foreign policy. It can help explain the United States to the rest of the often-baffled world.

In 2006 Mandelbaum retu

Praise For That Used to Be Us

“At once enlightened and enlightening...[American society] could use more of the generous responsible spirit Friedman and Mandelbaum recommend.”—The New York Times Book Review  “Thoroughly researched and passionately argued...That Used to Be Us is an important contribution to an intensifying debate, and it deserves the widest possible attention....Compelling.”—The New York Times “Anyone who cares about America’s future---anyone planning to vote in 2012---ought to read this book and hear the authors’ compelling case.”—The Christian Science Monitor “An important and eminently readable book.”—The New York Review of Books “Touches a nerve...In a country whose politicians are partisan intransigents and whose commentators are more interested in zingers than solutions, it takes courage to be so baldly civic-minded.”—BusinessWeek