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

Juan Enriquez, Author . Crown $24.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-307-23752-1

American history, both distant and recent, is troubled with violence and schisms that constantly threaten the foundations of the country. The country has endured a civil war, two world wars, slavery, genocide and now, of course, the raging battle between the red and blue states. Are we on the brink of dissolution? That's the question Enriquez poses in this fact-filled, statistic-laden book. For more than 200 pages, Enriquez, the founding director of the Life Sciences Project at Harvard Business School, gives readers as many reasons as he can for why America may be headed toward an un-united future. On occasion this means glossing over pesky details and relying on simple generalizations, such as lumping together various quotes about the deficit and social security to maximize the sense of impending doom. Enriquez skips from topic to topic, relying on the fractured narrative layout (perhaps deliberately reminiscent of essayist Paul Metcalf's work) to heighten the book's sense of urgency. The facts, dates and numbers he presents are undoubtedly interesting, but in the end they don't add up to much. What's lacking is the complexity and depth that come with focused, developed arguments, the kind that provide a meaningful context for statistical information. (On sale Nov. 15)

Reviewed on: 08/29/2005
Release date: 11/01/2005
Open Ebook - 271 pages - 978-0-307-42244-6
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-307-33774-0
Show other formats
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!