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The dizzying exuberance of the Internet-driven marketplace offers unprecedented opportunities and an ever-expanding choice of deals, products, investments, and jobs - ranging from the merely attractive to the nearly irresistible - for the people with the right talents and skills. The technology that is the motor of this transformation relentlessly sharpens competition. When consumers can shift allegiance with the click of a mouse, sellers must make constant improvements by cutting costs, adding value, and creating new products. This is a boon to us as consumers, but it's wreaking havoc in the rest of our lives.

Reich demonstrates that the faster the economy changes, the harder it is for people to be confident of what they will be earning next year or even next month, what they will be doing, where they will be doing it. In short, those fabulous new deals of the fabulous new economy carry a steep price: more frenzied lives, less security, more economic and social stratification, the loss of time and energy for family, friendship, community, and self.

With the clarity and insight that are his hallmarks, and using examples from everyday life, Reich delineates what success is coming to mean in our time and suggests how we might create a more balanced society and more satisfying lives. The trends he discusses are powerful indeed, but they are not irreversible, or at least not unalterable.

©2001 Robert B. Reich (P)2001 Random House, Inc.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Horace
  • 14-03-06

What you knew, but hadn’t articulated

When the Secretary of Labor writes a book about work, maybe you should listen. Really a very good book; probably the best book I’ve read in a year.

The book is mostly about the sociology of success (not a how to book). But it is nevertheless likely to lead to personal insight. Heavy on micro-economics.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Cary
  • 21-11-04

The Future of SUCCESS??? Really???

I enjoyed the summary overview of the development of the western economy, mainly from the Industrial Revolution through the internet age. But when he made a sharp swerve to the left, I realized I'd been had, and the whole broadbrush historical overview was just setting me up for a litany of liberal social programs that will make everything OK. (Sorry, I hope that doesn't spoil the ending for anyone).
If you are a liberal, you will find all the great ideas that will take away the misery of the poor by taking money away from the evil rich, passing it through the highly efficient hands of government, and making everyone better off, with more time to spend with their families, no need to work very hard or very much, and no risk that anything bad will happen to you.
If you're a conservative, you'll find an articulate rendering of some variations on age-old egalitarian, social experimentation proposals. Even if you don't agree with it, it's well written, and easy to listen to. We should all give fair consideration of viewpoints we don't agree with -- there's too little of that in our country today.
I don't agree with the title of the book. Reich's outlook is quite pessimistic from every perspective. We're on the road to unhappiness and social ruin if we follow the current path, according to him. His solution, however, is to reduce risk through redistribution of wealth, which history has shown tends to bring everyone down toward mediocrity, rather than incent success. There have got to be better solutions than he proposes; otherwise, the future of success is failure.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • wilsonchua
  • 09-01-05

Very enlightening and enjoyable to listen to.

As an ISP here in the Philippines, i am always on the lookout for trends that we can 'ride' on. This audio book provides us with a lot of insights into how things became the way they are.

Usually, books of these types are typically boring. NOt so with the book as the author has sprinkled it liberally with real world examples and annecdotes.

highly recommended!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Adam
  • 12-09-04

One of the best books I have ever read

This book summarizes the consequence of globalization within the confines of our new economy with respect to our daily lives.

Thomas Friedman could learn a lot from Mr. Reich.

Full of meaningful statistics, analysis and insight and surprising entertaining.

Simply one of the best books I have ever read.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • daniel
  • 24-12-12

Intelligent and Insightful

Would you listen to The Future of Success again? Why?

I would listen to The Future of Success again, because the observations and insights in it are not commonly discussed in contemporary political discourse, yet they're as relevant to living in America today as they were when the book was published.

What other book might you compare The Future of Success to and why?

The Two-Income Trap by Elizabeth Warren may compare to the Future of Success, as it is also a thoroughly researched sociologic study of the political and economic forces that shaped the transformation of the American middle class in the 20th century.

Have you listened to any of Robert B. Reich’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This one seems to have longer, extended examples from Reich's own life.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Robert W. Sherrill
  • 08-05-05

Insightful View of Our Economy and Future

The book is full of information presented in a logical and clear manner considering the broad extents of knowledge that is presented. The book is exceptional and a great listen.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Robert
  • 15-12-04

an economist's world view

If you find discussions about economic factors that influence life enjoyable, then you will find this an especially exciting treat. If you are not an economist there is still plenty to enjoy and appriciate.

He tells great stories about our modern economy and what impact our daily choices have. He explains everything from why we have the number of children we have to why we marry or decide not to marry through the lens of economics.

Why do I hire a housekeeper?........ Economics.
Why do I have my son's birthday at Chuck E Cheeses?........ Economics
Why are african american women having fewer children?....... Economics, of course!

I did enjoy it, however, and in fact I quote this book often and play entertaining bits of it to classes. I am a college professor though.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ramesh
  • 20-12-02

Food for thought

I heard this book, repeating some sections many times. I have followed Robert Reich even before he
became Secretary of the Dept. of Labor. I have always enjoyed his erudite exposition of american economy
and the choices we have to make to be part of such an economy. Therefore my review may be biased.
The book is certainly a basket of fodder for mind to ruminate.

14 people found this helpful