Globalization at Mach Speed
By Gregg Easterbrook
(Random House, Hardcover, 9781400063956, 272pp.)
Publication Date: December 29, 2009
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There are signs the recession is about to end. So what comes next? Growth will resume. But economic uncertainty will worsen, making what comes next not just a boom but a nerve-shattering SONIC BOOM.
Gregg Easterbrook – who "writes nothing that is not brilliant" (Chicago Tribune) – is a fount of unconventional wisdom, and over time, he is almost always proven right. Throughout 2008 and 2009, as the global economy was contracting and the experts were panicking, Easterbrook worked on a book saying prosperity is about to make its next big leap. Will he be right again?
SONIC BOOM: Globalization at Mach Speed presents three basic insights. First, if you don't like globalization, brace yourself, because globalization has barely started. Easterbrook contends the world is about to become far more globally linked. Second, the next wave of global change will be primarily positive: economic prosperity, knowledge and freedom will increase more in the next 50 years than in all of human history to this point. But before you celebrate, Easterbrook further warns that the next phase of global change is going to drive us crazy. Most things will be good for most people – but nothing will seem certain for anyone.
Each SONIC BOOM chapter is based on examples of cities around the world – in the United States, Europe, Russia, China, South America – that represent a significant Sonic Boom trend. With a terrific sense of humor, pitch-perfect reporting and clear, elegant prose, Easterbrook explains why economic recovery is on the horizon but why the next phase of global change will also give everyone one hell of a headache. Forbes calls Easterbrook "the best writer on complex topics in the United States" and SONIC BOOM will show you why.
Gregg Easterbrook is the author of six books, including The Progress Paradox. He is a contributing editor to The Atlantic, for which he has written more than a dozen cover stories, and The New Republic. His articles have appeared in The New York Times and Los Angeles Times, as well as on the covers of Newsweek and Time. He has appeared on Today, Larry King Live, Nightline, CBS Morning News, All Things Considered, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, The Diane Rehm Show, and The O’Reilly Factor. And as a hobby, he writes the “Tuesday Morning Quarterback” football column for ESPN.com. He lives near Washington, D.C., with his wife and three children.
"A book that is both a pleasure to read and a valuable corrective to the gloom that currently envelopes us…Easterbrook tells his story well, with social portraiture, striking facts and sharp anecdotes aimed at puncturing common misconceptions about economic change…As for the economic crisis that has just nearly ruined us, Mr. Easterbrook reminds us, in one of the many apercus that enliven "Sonic Boom," that capitalism is the only economic system in history that is rendered stronger by its own instability." - Wall Street Journal, 12/29/09
"Sonic Boom is the thinking person's Future Shock." Carl Schramm, President, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
"Sonic Boom is the business book you must read"—Eric Schmidt, Chairman/CEO of Google Inc.
"I strongly recommend this book to everyone who wants deep insights into the future without either excessive optimism or pessimism."—Gary Becker, University of Chicago economist, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics and Presidential Medal of Freedom
"Better than any other, this book explains why the future of our world is still a globalized future, one in which the increasing speed of change will directly affect us all. If you read Thomas Friedman's The World Is Flat, you must read Sonic Boom, because this book is the next step."—Tyler Cowen, Holbert C. Professor of Economics at George Mason University, and co-Founder, Marginalrevolution.com