A sophisticated, persuasive argument that “Made in America” means a stronger America.

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ReMaking America

In a series of essays, a team of experts argues that a robust manufacturing sector is necessary to keep the American dream alive.

Following up on the notable 2009 work Manufacturing a Better Future for America, editor McCormack (Lean Machines, 2002, etc.) and like-minded business wonks suggest ways to nurture a renaissance in U.S. manufacturing. The book comes at a pivotal moment; the sector has lost nearly 6 million jobs in the 21st century, and its contribution to the gross domestic product declined to 11.9 percent in 2012 from 22.7 percent in 1970. Renewed interest in rebuilding America’s manufacturing base, however, offers a chance to change course. The book’s 10 contributing authors—including business executives, engineers and journalists—contend that the United States must adopt new policies regarding trade, infrastructure, taxes, education and energy and develop a comprehensive strategy to encourage domestic production while leveling the international playing field. McCormack opens with a sobering assessment of the state of American manufacturing, and his survey of key industries such as semiconductors, chemicals and automobiles reveals the United States as a diminished giant, outstripped by global rivals. In an equally compelling chapter, trade lawyer Eric Garfinkel calls for stronger enforcement of World Trade Organization rules to prevent some nations from bending them. Journalist Harold Meyerson is perhaps the group’s biggest skeptic, as he points to Germany’s vibrant manufacturing culture to argue that an industrial revival without labor unions is no revival at all. This articulate, well-sourced and skillfully constructed anthology covers an impressive amount of ground. The authors tackle thorny issues, such as value-added taxation, labor relations and Chinese currency manipulation, and often challenge prevailing wisdom; for example, manufacturing advocate Harry Moser contends that corporations’ narrow focus on labor costs has led them to overlook the sizable hidden costs of shifting production overseas. Although none of the proposed remedies are easy fixes, the book’s main message—that manufacturing is critical to the future of American prosperity—is gaining traction among economic observers. The chapters are long and densely packed, and McCormack wisely gives each chapter a synopsis for quick reference.

A sophisticated, persuasive argument that “Made in America” means a stronger America.

Pub Date: July 10, 2013

ISBN: 978-0989257411

Page Count: 380

Publisher: Alliance for American Manufacturing

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2013

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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