Extended Audio Sample

Download That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back Audiobook, by Thomas L. Friedman Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,234 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Thomas L. Friedman, Michael Mandelbaum Narrator: Michael Mandelbaum, Jason Culp Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2011 ISBN: 9781427213723
Regular Price: $32.99 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $19.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

America is in trouble. We face four major challenges on which our future depends, and we are failing to meet them—and if we delay any longer, soon it will be too late for us to pass along the American dream to future generations.
In That Used to Be Us, Thomas L. Friedman, one of our most influential columnists, and Michael Mandelbaum, one of our leading foreign policy thinkers, offer both a wake-up call and a call to collective action. They analyze the four challenges we face—globalization, the revolution in information technology, the nation's chronic deficits, and our pattern of excessive energy consumption—and spell out what we need to do now to sustain the American dream and preserve American power in the world. They explain how the end of the Cold War blinded the nation to the need to address these issues seriously, and how China's educational successes, industrial might, and technological prowess remind us of the ways in which "that used to be us." They explain how the paralysis of our political system and the erosion of key American values have made it impossible for us to carry out the policies the country urgently needs.
And yet Friedman and Mandelbaum believe that the recovery of American greatness is within reach. They show how America's history, when properly understood, offers a five-part formula for prosperity that will enable us to cope successfully with the challenges we face. They offer vivid profiles of individuals who have not lost sight of the American habits of bold thought and dramatic action. They propose a clear way out of the trap into which the country has fallen, a way that includes the rediscovery of some of our most vital traditions and the creation of a new thirdparty movement to galvanize the country.
That Used to Be Us is both a searching exploration of the American condition today and a rousing manifesto for American renewal.

Download and start listening now!

b842

Quotes & Awards

  • “[In That Used to Be Us there] are big truths, and the authors see them clearly and whole. As is usual in Mr. Friedman's work the power of the core argument is buttressed by detailed reportage and blizzards of specific fact and detail, but the accumulation of anecdote and evidence never detracts from the book's central thrust. That Used to Be Us is an important contribution to an intensifying debate, and it deserves the widest possible attention. Walter Russell Mead, The New York Times

  • Friedman and Mandelbaum are men of the American elite, and they write to salute those members of the American elite who behave public-spiritedly and to scourge those who do not. They are winners, writing to urge other winners to have more of a care for their fellow citizens who are not winners. And you know what? There's nothing wrong with that! . . . American society has had a big serving of that ugly anti-elitist spirit in the recent past. It could use more of the generous responsible spirit Friedman and Mandelbaum recommend. David Frum, The New York Times Book Review
  • [An] important and eminently readable book… Stanley Hoffmann, The New York Review of Books
  • This is a book of exceptional importance, written on a sweeping scale with remarkable clarity by two of our most gifted thinkers. A soon-to-be best seller, it should be read by policymakers and every American concerned about our country's future. Elizabeth L. Winter, Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cristina | 2/20/2014

    " well argued, relevant, and most importantly - nonpartisan. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paula | 2/20/2014

    " I didn't think I'd ever finish this book! It took me so long because it crams a lot of facts and figures in its pages, and gives one a great deal to think about. By turns inspiring and depressing, I feel as if this book should be read by everyone. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Hobson | 2/18/2014

    " Makes a compelling argument, which I definitely agree with, that as a country we need to get back to investing in education and infrastructure, but the writing felt disjointed and repetitive. Would have given it a 2.5 if I could. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marge | 2/13/2014

    " Everyone, regardless of their political leanings, should read this. History sure points out some major blunders that have led us to where we are today. The main topics that are addressed, economics, oil, global warming, are topics that bring out visceral emotions in most of us. The best part is looking to the future and what needs to be done right now to make the outlook better. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary | 2/4/2014

    " A must read for those who believe we can fix what is wrong with our country. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda Rogde | 1/25/2014

    " I read several books in January regarding how to re-vitalized America. In this one, the authors offer a number of possible solutions. Intriguing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nivas | 1/15/2014

    " Another good book by Thomas Friedman. A comprehensive evaluation of all the issues facing the United States including globalization, IT, deficit and energy. Provides an overview of the problems such as bipartisan politics and education issues. Makes recommendations. Must read before the elections. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shekib82 | 11/25/2013

    " A bit repetative and no new solutions offered. It is probably more gloomy that the reality would suggest (America still leads in IT). Anyway I would rate this 3rd among Tom's past three books after hot flat and crowded and "The world is flat". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tenille Shade | 11/14/2013

    " The education chapters are outstanding! Think like an immigrant, think like an artison, and think like a waitress. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cindy Ramadan | 8/19/2013

    " Eyeopener for Americasns. Thought provoking. T Friedman at his riveting best. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Martha | 2/27/2013

    " valuable info; not told in an interesting manner "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Evelyn | 1/12/2013

    " A book everyone should read especially our politicians, teachers, and anyone who votes. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Krista Weir | 9/17/2012

    " Scary. Easy to read and really makes you think "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anna Amato | 5/21/2012

    " this may take a while to read but its woryh it "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marcello | 2/28/2012

    " An important lesson to Brazil: our problems are the results of choices we made, and just us can solve them. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jonathan Bacon | 2/16/2012

    " A must read for this political season. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lakshmi | 11/5/2011

    " This should be required reading for all Americans. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sharron | 11/5/2011

    " Everyone should read this book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Catherine | 11/1/2011

    " This is a tough love book about what needs to change for us to be competitive again. Better education, improved global outlook, better trained workforce, better infrastructure "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jacqueline | 10/31/2011

    " Not too much new in the areas of the economy and education. The parts on business were interesting. We will see what happens with the third party idea. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenn | 10/17/2011

    " A real eye opener into where we really stand in the global game these days, and its crazy how dumb we're actually being about things. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Luigib | 10/12/2011

    " I thought this was a little general. Friedman cold have summarized this in about half the pages "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vince | 10/8/2011

    " Excellent critique of current economic, political, and environmental place we are today and why that's changed from where we were a generation ago--and how to accomplish a do-over before it's too late "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christian | 10/7/2011

    " The message is simple and the examples are plentiful. It will be interesting to see if they take hold in the USA or in another country.

    "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Author Thomas L. Friedman

Thomas L. Friedman has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize three times for his work with the New York Times as a foreign affairs columnist. Popular with a large range of readers, his book Hot, Flat, and Crowded was an international bestseller. He is also the author of From Beirut to Jerusalem, The Lexus and the Olive Tree, Longitudes and Attitudes, and The World Is Flat. He currently lives in Bethesda, Maryland.

About the Narrators

Michael Mandelbaum is the Christian A. Herter Professor of American Foreign Policy at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He is the author or coauthor of more than a dozen books, including The Ideas That Conquered the World, and with Thomas L. Friedman, the New York Times bestseller That Used to Be Us.

Jason Culp, winner of three AudioFile Earphones Awards, has been acting since the age of ten, and his credits include a variety of television, theater, and film roles. He is best known for his role as Julian Gerome on General Hospital. In addition to audiobooks and voice-over work in national commercials, he has also narrated documentaries for National Geographic and the History Channel.