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

Enriquez, Juan

71 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0307237524 / ISBN 13: 9780307237521
Published by Crown Publishers, New York, 2005
Condition: Fine Hardcover
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About this Item

352pp. '1' present in number sequence on copyright page. Tan boards with light mandarin spine and silver lettering; beveled fore-edge. Dustwrapper not price-clipped ($24.95), with illustration on front cover of a booklet tied in brown string with a torn map of the US attached by aid of a paper clip to lower left of booklet and front cover itself; top corners slightly bumped, with small wrinkles to boards, as with dustwrapper in correspsonding corners; 1" x 1/2" semi-circular FAINT water stain at top rear cover edge, beginning at 1" to right of rear cover top left corner (detectable on inside rear cover dw, but NO impact upon rear cover itself: describes much worse than it is. Flatsigned by author on sticker affixed to ffep. Includes author letter, signed, laid in. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 004088

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Untied States of America: Polarization, ...

Publisher: Crown Publishers, New York

Publication Date: 2005

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Flatsigned by Author

Edition: First Edition, First Printing.

About this title


Can a country be like a marriage that has run out of cash and steam, resulting in the inevitable frank discussions about just who is pulling his or her own weight? Eventually, even those who love each other sometimes conclude they cannot stay together.

Juan Enriquez’s unique insights into the financial, political, and cultural issues we face will provoke shock and surprise and lead you to ask the question no one has yet put on the table: Could “becoming untied” ever happen here? It’s a question made especially relevant when we are faced with such unpromising facts as:

· At no other time have we had the unwelcome convergence in which the three key sectors of business, government, and consumers are so tapped out due to debt that each lacks the financial wherewithal to come to the rescue of the others.

· Most assets are not being used for productive purposes but for speculation, resulting in people lacking incentives to create real wealth, focusing instead on buying, selling, and flipping real estate.

· As religion starts to mix with politics, we have a culture that allows us to fall behind what were previously third world nations, because we are now treating science the way we did sex in the 1950s, banning or burying evolution theories and research into promising lifesaving areas such as stem-cell research.

When the enemy was outside—for example, the threat perceived when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik and people feared America would lose the brain race—we rallied. Now the enemy is within, and we polarize. Defaming the legitimacy of people on the “other” side becomes the currency of the day, where people in blue states are seen as godless liberal elitists and those in red states are seen as, well, rednecks.

Citizenship, Enriquez says, is like buying into a national brand. If the brand promises one thing and delivers another, could it then have the same fate as a tired product on a supermarket shelf, eroding, losing support, even disappearing? Countries, even one as powerful and successful as America, live on fault lines. When a fault line splits, it’s near impossible to put things back together again. What America will look like in fifty years depends on what we do today to act on the issues raised in The Untied States of America.
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Will America always fly the Stars and Stripes? Will its borders be the same in 50 years? It may sound crazy, but the answers to those questions are less certain than most Americans probably think. History shows flags and borders change frequently. Countries are like marriages--they fall apart all the time. Three-quarters of the countries in the United Nations were not there 50 years ago. In his book The Untied States of America, Juan Enriquez chucks out conventional wisdom and says the U.S. may not be immune to mounting global forces of national dissolution. He argues that Americans should get ready now for a messy, secession-driven future.

Enriquez is a former Mexican government official and fellow at Harvard's Center for International Affairs. He says growing political, racial, and economic divisions in the U.S. could provoke secessionist movements in the South and New England. It has happened before. Enriquez points to the Philippines, which gained independence from the U.S. in 1946. In Texas, he writes, 42 percent of people support secession and a confederation with the U.S. Unfortunately, while Enriquez addresses an important topic, his writing style is sensationalistic and plays loose with some facts. (For example, he claims that the Canadian province of Quebec bans toys that use a language other than French--not true--and that 94 percent of Quebec voters rejected independence for the province in a 1995 referendum; the correct number is 51 percent.) Enriquez also employs a distracting and jarring presentation style: He rarely writes a paragraph longer than one sentence, and each page is a cacophony of bolded and capitalized words and varying font sizes, a provocative choice that in this case comes off as strange and amateurish. --Alex Roslin

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