The End of the American Century
1989 by Steven Schlossstein
537 pages, Contemporary Books
(Source notes, Bibliography, Index)
ISBN 0-8092-0201-0Z
ISBN 0-86553-201-0 (International)


The End of the American Century is a book about America — where our nation stands today and how it is responding to the greatest challenges in its history. In the span of one generation, America has seen its standard of living decline, its commercial dominance overtaken by more aggressive foreign competitors, its industrial leadership sacrificed at the altar of mergers and quick profits, and its schools plagued by low achievement — all while the nations of East Asia have been rising to power.

Consequently, this book is also about Asia — Japan and the Little Dragons of Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong — whose dramatic rates of economic growth, soaring personal incomes, and aggressive trade and investment strategies are forcing America to rethink its own free-market philosophy.

America's rise was based on its abundant natural resources and a maturing industrial system. But the future, Schlossstein argues, will belong to those nations that invest in their human resources and the technologies they will need to compete successfully in the information age.

Two decades ago, Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber's The American Challenge predicted the conquest of Europe by America's industrial and commercial power. Europe's own response can be seen now in its state-of-the-art factories and the vitality of its Common Market. Today, when the shoe is on the other foot, will America do as well? Will our children live in a world commercially, financially, and politically dominated by an ever more powerful Japan? Or can a renewed and revitalized America hold on to the reins of global leadership?

Schlossstein argues against imitation of Japan's strategically controlled economy and its conformist society — which few Americans would tolerate — and proposes instead a series of thoughtful incentives designed to increase savings, enhance industrial competitiveness, and strengthen public education so that American can maintain its lead as primus inter pares. Essential reading for leaders in education, business, and government, The End of the American Century speaks to all Americans concerned about our nation's relative decline and proposes constructive policies that can reinvigorate American leadership in an increasingly competitive world.