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Download Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy Audiobook, by Bill Clinton Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,489 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Bill Clinton Narrator: Bill Clinton Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2011 ISBN: 9780307990709
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President Bill Clinton gives us his views on the challenges facing the United States today and why government matters—presenting his ideas on restoring economic growth, job creation, financial responsibility, resolving the mortgage crisis, and pursuing a strategy to get us "back in the future business.” He explains how we got into the current economic crisis, and offers specific recommendations on how we can put people back to work, increase bank lending and corporate investment, double our exports, restore our manufacturing base, and create new businesses. He supports President Obama’s emphasis on green technology, saying that changing the way we produce and consume energy is the strategy most likely to spark a fast-growing economy while enhancing our national security.

Clinton also stresses that we need a strong private sector and a smart government working together to restore prosperity and progress, demonstrating that whenever we’ve given in to the temptation to blame government for all our problems, we’ve lost our ability to produce sustained economic growth and shared prosperity.

Clinton writes, “There is simply no evidence that we can succeed in the twenty-first century with an antigovernment strategy,” based on “a philosophy grounded in ‘you’re on your own’ rather than ‘we’re all in this together.’ ” He believes that conflict between government and the private sector has proved to be good politics but has produced bad policies, giving us a weak economy with not enough jobs, growing income inequality and poverty, and a decline in our competitive position. In the real world, cooperation works much better than conflict, and “Americans need victories in real life.”

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Quotes & Awards

  • A reality-based strategy for economic renewal packed with ideas on how to fix America’s job machine . . . Offers some well-timed optimism . . . Contains sensible ideas . . . Articulate, engaging. Daniel Gross, The Washington Post
  • A lucid one-man rebuttal of the Tea Party’s anti-government agenda and a practical set of proposals . . . for restoring economic growth. A succinct common-sense argument for why America needs a strong national government, why both spending cuts and increased tax revenues are necessary for addressing the debt problem (which is going to get worse given the demographics of an aging baby-boomer population and the high costs of interest payments), and why that debt problem ‘can’t be solved unless the economy starts growing again.’ Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
  • This book presents page after page of intelligent suggestions on how the U.S. can cut its crippling debt, create new jobs, and get ‘back into the future business’ . . . I found much to agree with. James Pressley, Bloomberg News
  • A personal, plain-spoken economic picture of where we are, a mile-high view of the three decades that got us here, and how to revive our economy in classic ‘American Dream growth’ style. . . . If this list whiplashes from the nitty-gritty to the mile-high view and back again, it demonstrates that Clinton is a politician who can operate at both levels without breaking a sweat. . . . A book with the chutzpah that the Democrats have been missing. Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times
  • Four stars . . . There’s an upbeat, front-foot tone to Back to Work that is welcome at a time of despair. Love him or hate him, [Clinton] hasn’t lost his touch . . . It’s refreshing to hear from him. Martin Vander Weyer, The Telegraph (U.K.)
  • Convincing . . . A rallying cry to America . . . Informed, high-minded, intelligent and persuasive… Clinton is probably the best natural politician of his generation. His skill at framing an argument is without peer and that he generally does so without demagoguery is to his lasting credit. In this case, the fact that he has simple common sense on his side doesn't hurt either. These pages should be required reading for any Democrat running for office next year. Erik Tarloff, The Observer (U.K.)
  • Bill Clinton has an idea. A few dozen ideas, in fact, about ways large and small to get unemployed Americans back to work—from granting property tax breaks for investments that create jobs to painting every flat tar roof in U.S. cities white for the energy savings. Susan Page, USA Today
  • A book full of ideas about how to revive the economy and get America’s unemployed millions back to work . . . The book has two main strengths. First, while arguing, rightly, that in the short run the American economy urgently needs a boost from government spending, it spells out in simple terms why Uncle Sam also needs a credible strategy for sorting out the country’s long-term fiscal problems . . . Second, Mr. Clinton is at his famously wonkish best in scouring America and the world to find practical ideas for getting people back to work. The Economist
  • Feisty . . . a cogent, well-informed attack on the GOP’s ‘antigovernment ideology.’ A smart, forthright, appealingly folksy defense of activist government. Publishers’ Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carolyn | 2/15/2014

    " I am a fan of Bill Clinton's so it is no surprise that I like this book. He does a really good job of explaining how we got into our current economic mess and offers some interesting ways to move forward. With that said, there is a generous amount of what comes off as bragging regarding his accomplishments as POTUS. Still, I recommend this book as a good way to jumpstart some interesting discussions. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Eric | 2/7/2014

    " I LOVE listening to BC get interviewed and give speeches, but this book sort of rambled on and I lost interest. Even though his points, when he got to them, where GREAT. Wish it was better organized for short-attention-span folks such as myself. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Catherine | 1/31/2014

    " I liked this book. I think Clinton has a lot of good ideas. However, I could have done without the ways that he saved America and how the Republicans ruined it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brandon Baggett | 1/24/2014

    " To be straight forward, this book wasn't that bad. Bill Clinton speaks about a lot of great ideas that if the government could just work together, they would see that they really are good ideas. There were two things in the book that did keep popping up that rubbed me wrong though. Clinton mentioned a lot of reasons why would should have praised him more for his time in office, I just don't like it when people try to get glory. The second is that he kept assuming that a lot of people that would read his book would be completely and utterly against government. This is just not true for most people with a brain. Other than that, his steps are clear and easily understood. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sriram Chari | 1/21/2014

    " The book was written with the right intention, but the delivery needs lot of work. The first chapter or two focuses too much on missed GOP steps and the President has not done enough to make his case for the right sized Government, though the case is there to be made. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim G | 1/17/2014

    " I wish more public figures would write books like this one. It's thoughtful and smart AND accessible, it has some truly constructive commentary on the current state of our political system and especially the economy, and it openly advocates for increased dialogue, cooperation, and yes, compromise. Cheers for President Clinton. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 1/12/2014

    " Despite Clinton's clear Democrat preferences, he does a good job of defending his position and countering some of the more popular Republican concerns. All in all, I thought that Clinton's suggestions and ideals were decently well fleshed out. Although I liked reading his take on the current state of America, I found his writing style confusing to follow and at times I had to reread several sentences to understand the point he made. Also, he put website references as footnotes on each respective page, but the reference would be a long URL address. I doubt many people will actually refer to them because typing in the URL would be a chore. It's a minor complaint, I know, but I would bet that most people aren't typing those long addresses in. I was annoyed a little by his constant "my administration did ____ very well" repetitions and would guess that some of his reported statistics and "facts" may differ from those across the aisle. Nevertheless, Clinton makes a compelling claim that the US is poised for better days ahead only if we leverage our government's capabilities. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Toni Chanakas | 1/6/2014

    " As a past president, Clinton understands how to get the country moving again. In this quick read President Clinton gives reasons how we got into this recession and how to get our country moving again. All his 46 antidotes makes sense. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Daniel | 10/3/2013

    " An enjoyable read with a practical approach to thinking about resolving some of America's economic issues. Relatively straightforward you don't have to be a huge politics nut to take something away from it, although it probably helps... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 D Books | 10/2/2013

    " President Clinton offers completely viable solutions for getting America back to work. If this country could get past the bipartisan bickering and work together, then this country could get back on track to a prosperous and limitless future. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dee Dubin | 9/13/2013

    " Good to read some positive outlook on our country. Describes the problems and then lots on solutions. As subtitle says we need to gets USA back to the future! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynn Diane | 8/15/2013

    " Terrific book! Reminds me of why he was such a successful president and makes me wish he was president still. He truly is the elder statesman of the world. President of the world, I believe Anderson Cooper called him. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marty | 2/21/2013

    " Listened o it on CD. So not really sure I got it all. But I Enjoyed it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Danny Wojtasik | 10/3/2012

    " Nice way to see inside the thoughts of a former President. However, keep in mind the vast size differences of the economies discussed when the author refers to percentages spent with respect to GDP. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathy Mckean | 8/19/2012

    " I wish everyone would read this before pontificating about the economy. Thanks, Lucas! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael Fortner | 5/1/2012

    " This book reads like one of Bill Clinton's very long State of the Union Address, with some policy proposal for everyone, which is to say I liked it. "

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About the Author
Author Bill Clinton

William Jefferson Clinton was the forty-second president of the United States and the first baby-boomer to occupy the Oval Office. He became president at the end of the Cold War, serving two terms from 1993 to 2001 and leaving with the highest end-of-office approval rating of any president since World War II. Since then, he has been involved in public speaking and humanitarian work and has remained active in politics by campaigning for Democratic candidates.