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The Untied States of America: Polarization, Fracturing, and Our Future

by Juan Enriquez

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944258,597 (3.93)None
Can a country be like a marriage that has run out of cash and steam? Eventually, even those who love each other sometimes conclude they cannot stay together. Enriquez's insights into the financial, political, and cultural issues we face will lead you to the question no one has yet put on the table: Could "becoming untied" ever happen here? When the enemy was outside--for example, when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik and people feared America would lose the brain race--we rallied. Now the enemy is within, and we polarize. Defaming the legitimacy of people on the "other" side becomes the currency of the day, where people in blue states are seen as godless liberal elitists and those in red states are seen as, well, rednecks. Countries, even one as powerful and successful as America, live on fault lines. When a fault line splits, it's near impossible to put things back together again.--From publisher description.… (more)
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Showing 4 of 4
Maybe now even more prescient. ( )
  btbell_lt | Aug 1, 2022 |
A wonderful follow-up to "As the Future Catches You." If you read both, you can see how "As the Future Catches You" led to this book. It is particularly interesting to read this book in light of the 2008 Presidential election. ( )
  russelllindsey | Sep 3, 2008 |
Perhaps the most fascinating part of this book isn't even what's printed on the page - it's HOW its printed on the page. There are no paragraphs. The entire work is an assembly of short declaratory sentences (or less) arranged, spaced, and sized for maximum impact. Charts and graphs abound. It is clear that the author conceived the entire page, not just his words. This probably bothers some people (it certainly did for at least one reviewer on Amazon.com) but I find it not just readable but incredibly informative, cluing the reader in to the author's ideas about what's important and how certain concepts mesh together or can be juxtaposed for power and insight.

If you cannot accept this format (as is the case with a few of the other reviewers) the book will drive you crazy. If you can get past it, though, reading it is a very enjoyable experience.

The book opens with and revolves around the very thought provoking question, "How many stars with the U.S. flag have in 50 years?" Most Americans would respond "fifty, of course" without any thought. Mr. Enriquez spends the remainder of the book providing insightful examples of how other countries have 'untied' (his term for the breakup of a nation into smaller, independent parts) and lines along which and reasons for the U.S. to 'untie.'

He covers portions of our neighbors, Canada and Mexico, that could under certain circumstances become 'new stars' for America. He also examines the reasons and trends that my induce portions of the United States to 'untie' - a loss of stars for the United States.

The 'Blue State vs. Red State' divide is examined. The author observes that when populations within a nation become sufficiently self identifying and unintegrated, splits often occur, but not in the way that might seem most likely. Given that The South has already seceded once and makes up a significant part of 'Red America' one would think it most likely for the 'Red States' to secede again. Mr. Enriquez contends that this isn't the case. Most secessions are by the more eoonomically viable portion. When a population or region becomes convinced that the could be richer by themselves, they secede. Knowledge based economies alow smaller nations (cough, cough, South Korea, cough) to easily compete with far larger nations. Shedding regions that don't 'pull their weight' becomes an increasingly attractive option.

Mr. Enriquez does not, however, spend the entire book examining the United States. Italy, Canada, the Balkans, The UK and Russia, among many others, are also used to illustrate concepts.

I highly recommend this book, regardless of your political stripes. It is neither Conservative propoganda nor Progressive talking points. It explores trends that are unfolding all over the world and explains how they will affect us. ( )
1 vote DCArchitect | Nov 7, 2007 |
Interesting book about globalisation and increasing tendency for nations to fracture and divide. Very unusual format (bullets, charts) by a really interesting author. ( )
  dgbdgb | Jan 15, 2006 |
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Can a country be like a marriage that has run out of cash and steam? Eventually, even those who love each other sometimes conclude they cannot stay together. Enriquez's insights into the financial, political, and cultural issues we face will lead you to the question no one has yet put on the table: Could "becoming untied" ever happen here? When the enemy was outside--for example, when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik and people feared America would lose the brain race--we rallied. Now the enemy is within, and we polarize. Defaming the legitimacy of people on the "other" side becomes the currency of the day, where people in blue states are seen as godless liberal elitists and those in red states are seen as, well, rednecks. Countries, even one as powerful and successful as America, live on fault lines. When a fault line splits, it's near impossible to put things back together again.--From publisher description.

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