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That Used To Be Us

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Running head: THAT USED TO BE US 1
That Used to be us
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THAT USED TO BE US 2
That Used to be us
In “That Used to be Us: How America Fell Behind In The World It Invented And How
We Can Come Back” Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum address the challenges facing
the United States which have seen the country lag behind and lose its previous position as the
world leader in production and innovation. Four major challenges are facing the United States
according to the book. The future of the nation is either bright or in jeopardy depending on how
the nation reacts to and solves these problems. The issues are addressed through the central
theme of the American Prosperity through which the authors list suggestions to restore the lost
glory of the United States to ensure that the country regains its past levels of prosperity. The
suggestions relate to a key concept addressed by Jason DeParle in “The American Dream: Three
Women, Ten Kids, and a Nation’s Drive to End Welfare.”
Central Theme
The book’s central theme is the American Prosperity which the two authors seek to re-
establish in the United States through five pillars. The theme is evident in different parts of the
book. Thomas begins by sharing some observations which point to laxity and mediocrity in the
United States. For instance, after a trip to China, he comes back to his country and sees a
difference between the two countries. The people in the United States lack the urgency to
achieve anything compared to the people of China (Friedman & Mandelbaum, 2011, 8).
Furthermore, the United States seems to be ignoring its problems. The four biggest
problems facing the United States according to the book are adapting to globalization, adjusting
to the information technology revolution, coping with large and soaring budgets, and the
management of the rising energy consumption and the increasing climate threats (Friedman &

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Running head: THAT USED TO BE US 1 That Used to be us Name: Institution: THAT USED TO BE US 2 That Used to be us In “That Used to be Us: How America Fell Behind In The World It Invented And How We Can Come Back” Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum address the challenges facing the United States which have seen the country lag behind and lose its previous position as the world leader in production and innovation. Four major challenges are facing the United States according to the book. The future of the nation is either bright or in jeopardy depending on how the nation reacts to and solves these problems. The issues are addressed through the central theme of the American Prosperity through which the authors list suggestions to restore the lost glory of the United States to ensure that the country regains its past levels of prosperity. The suggestions relate to a key concept addressed by Jason DeParle in “The American Dream: Three Women, Ten Kids, and a Nation’s Drive to End Welfare.” Central Theme The book’s central theme is the American Prosperity which the two authors seek to reestablish in the United States through five pillars. The theme is evident in different parts of the book. Thomas begins by sharing some observations which point to laxity and mediocrity in the United States. For instance, after a trip to China, he comes back to his country and sees a difference between the two countries. The people in the United States lack the urgency to achieve ...
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