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Summary

Robert B. Reich makes a powerful case for the expansion of America’s moral imagination. Rooting his argument in common sense and everyday reality, he demonstrates that a common good constitutes the very essence of any society or nation. Societies, he says, undergo virtuous cycles that reinforce the common good as well as vicious cycles that undermine it, one of which America has been experiencing for the past five decades. This process can and must be reversed. But first we need to weigh the moral obligations of citizenship and carefully consider how we relate to honor, shame, patriotism, truth, and the meaning of leadership. 

Powerful, urgent, and utterly vital, this is a heartfelt missive from one of our foremost political thinkers. 

©2018 Robert B. Reich (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

  "Brief but well-argued...a provocative essay." (Kirkus)

"Reich's lucidly defining and empowering call for revitalized civic awareness - complete with an enticing list of recommended reading and discussion guide - is an ideal catalyst for book-group conversations." (Booklist)

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Insightful and Important Analysis

A fantastic framework for understanding the variety of issues which challenge modern society. Applicable to people from all countries, not just America.

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  • Jean
  • 15-03-18

Edifying

This is a very timely essay. Reich takes a look at Adam Smith’s economic design, ideal of truth and equitable competition. Reich states we are a nation of law and order bound on the common good. He says the enemies of the common good range from the slumlords to megabanks and untrammeled hedge funds. These all disregard the rules of society for selfish gains. Reich stresses the importance of the truth; he proceeds to point out the problems caused by lies.

Robert B. Reich is following the lead of Sandra Day O’Connor who is advocating the renewal of civic education to enable people “to work with others; to separate facts and logic from values and beliefs”. I found this to be a most interesting discussion and a good review of citizenship. This book is easy to read. My only complaint is the repetition of key points throughout the book.

Robert B. Reich is a professor of public policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California Berkeley. He served in the administration of President Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and was Clinton’s Secretary of Labor from 1993 to 1997. Reich narrator the book himself. The book is just over five hours.

12 people found this helpful

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  • JCH
  • 23-02-18

Exceptional data drops with perfect explanation as to why the numbers changed

This book was great. Had moments where I thought I was listening to Inequality for All and Saving Capitalism. When it comes to sound progressive thought, Reich is the best. Highly recommend this book.

9 people found this helpful

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  • DANIEL
  • 23-02-18

A must read for everyone

It explains why we're in the mess we're in as a nation and what we should do about it to correct it

8 people found this helpful

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  • Caroline B.
  • 14-03-18

Excellent but sad

We need to read this book. It explains our history, government and what's gone wrong and suggests repair.

6 people found this helpful

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  • T. Durden
  • 28-02-18

Outstanding Material as Usual.

There is always something you can find to divide yourself from those you disagree with. How about something that does the opposite.

5 people found this helpful

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  • YunusTheOptimist
  • 11-03-18

Great book

it is great book to explain what common good ia.

it is timely and muar read.

4 people found this helpful

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  • David Gallo
  • 04-08-18

This should be required reading

Robert Reich simply and elegantly lays out our role in society and government. He gives historical facts to support his altruistic view of an America seemingly lost to selfishness, apathy and corruption. A must read.

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  • Alexandra D.
  • 02-08-18

Great message, great tone and overall great listen

This book hits the nail on the head regarding what has led our country towards it's current oath and how to get it back on track.

no political party is innocent.

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  • J. P. Murphy
  • 26-07-18

very good

important stuff regardless of political persuasion. good presentation. well considered. a moving please from a true American citizen

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  • J. R. Valery
  • 14-03-18

Excellent....but

Would you listen to The Common Good again? Why?

Not really. The thesis posited by Prof. Reich is compelling, and well explained enough to make a second reading unnecessary,

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Common Good?

The first two sections.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Avoid changing his voice to sound like, for example, Lincoln, or other personalities. I think Reich has no need to "act" his quotes.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Not that type of book

5 people found this helpful