In sum, That Used To Be Us is a helpful primer in understanding where and how the United States has fallen behind its global competitors. The book is at its strongest when discussing issues such as educational reform, the critical need for research and development, and innovation taking place in organizations from the armed forces to Silicon Valley. Unfortunately, the authors stumble when they move beyond anecdotes from far flung parts of the American economy that show our innovation and ingenuity, offer little more than bromides and generalities for answers and completely misread and, in same ways, misrepresent, the current state of our politics. This book feels like it was cobbled together from old essays and columns wrapped together with some overarching themes that have been circulating for some time and do not come across as particularly original.
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