Home and Abroad

At this point, it is too early to tell whether to be optimistic or whether the only healthy response to our current domestic economic discontents will be to lower expectations. Perhaps books like The End of Affluence and The Good Life

Issue: Fall 1996

Jeffrey Madrick, The End of Affluence (New York: Random House, 1995).

Robert J. Samuelson, The Good Life and Its Discontents (New York: Times Books, 1995).

Odd though it now appears, less than a decade ago Americans were debating whether the United States was a declining power in world politics. Paul Kennedy's The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers reached the national bestseller list. Geo-economics was alleged to be replacing geopolitics, and Japan was cast ominously as a rising giant. At the time of the Group of Seven Summit in Houston in 1990, some observers portrayed Japan and a reunited Germany as rising superpowers.

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