A third intriguing round of rose-tinted crystal-ball gazing from Cetron, head of a consultancy called Forecasting,...


AMERICAN RENAISSANCE: Our Life at the Turn of the 21st Century

A third intriguing round of rose-tinted crystal-ball gazing from Cetron, head of a consultancy called Forecasting, International and coauthor of Encounters With, the Future (1982) and The Future of American Business (1985). Here, Cetron teams with former Omni editor Davies, to offer a hopeful look at America ten years from now. The authors foresee a resurgent US, one ""which will have learned to cope with its troubles,"" boasting a vigorous economy, falling urban crime rates, and a healthier school system. Why the optimism? Primarily because of the increasing impact of technology--an impact that the authors detail in areas varying from caring for the elderly to coping with terrorism to fighting AIDS to enfolding minorities within our ever-more pluralistic society. It's technology combined with millennial spirit (""the end-of-the-century phenomenon"") that will revitalize the US (simultaneously, the authors predict, Japan will tumble from its lofty perch, victim of an aging populace and competition from the cheap labor markets of Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong). Along with technological wonders, the authors see a future bathed in moral fervor, with ethics part of the everyday school curriculum, a resurgence of religious faith, active repair of the environment, and a 32-hour workweek that allows people to focus on ""lifestyle,"" not ""workstyle."" Despite a few plugs for Cetron's firm, the authors are willing to take risks, including some that run counter to their generally conservative political bent: e.g., predicting and backhandedly calling for the legalization of drugs; on the other hand, they do foresee Sandinista terrorism within the US, and, in a burst of obfuscation, find the ""real cause"" of homelessness in ""the soaring price of apartments."" Fun to pore over, as predictions often are; but many may find that the authors' often superficial optimism flies in the face of history's bitter lessons.

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 1989

ISBN: 0312303947

Page Count: -

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1989