Back to Work by Bill Clinton
Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy

73%

12 Critic Reviews

Some of the former president's suggestions are not as convincing as others. Yet, through the sheer number and range of his ideas, Mr Clinton manages to convey a badly needed sense of hope.
-The Economist

Synopsis

“I wrote this book because I love my country and I'm concerned about our future,” writes Bill Clinton. “As I often said when I first ran for President in 1992, America at its core is an idea—the idea that no matter who you are or where you're from, if you work hard and play by the rules, you'll have the freedom and opportunity to pursue your own dreams and leave your kids a country where they can chase theirs.”

In Back to Work, Clinton details how we can get out of the current economic crisis and lay a foundation for long-term prosperity. He offers specific recommendations on how we can put people back to work and create new businesses, increase bank lending and corporate investment, double our exports, and restore our manufacturing base. He supports President Obama’s emphasis on green technology, saying that change in the way we produce and consume energy is the strategy most likely to spark a fast-growing economy and enhance our national security.

Clinton also says that we need both a strong economy and a smart government working together to restore prosperity and progress. He demonstrates that whenever we’ve given in to the temptation to blame government for our problems, we’ve lost our commitment to shared prosperity, balanced growth, financial responsibility, and investment in the future. That has led our nation into trouble because there are some things we have to do together. For example, he says, “Our ability to compete in the twenty-first century is dependent on our willingness to invest in infrastructure: we need faster broadband, a state-of-the-art national electrical grid, modernized water and sewer systems, and the best airports, trains, roads, and bridges.

“There is no evidence that we can succeed in the twenty-first century with an antigovernment strategy,” writes Clinton, “with a philosophy grounded in ‘You’re on your own’ rather than ‘We’re all in this together.’” Clinton believes that conflict between government and the private sector has proved to be remarkably good politics, but it has produced bad policies, giving us a weak economy with few jobs, growing income inequality and poverty, and a decline in our competitive position. In the real world, cooperation works much better than conflict, and “we need victories in the real world.”
 

About Bill Clinton

See more books from this Author
William Jefferson Clinton was the 42nd president of the United States. Under his leadership, the country enjoyed the strongest economy in a generation and the longest economic expansion in United States history. President Clinton’s core values of building community, creating opportunity, and demanding responsibility resulted in unprecedented progress for America, including moving the nation from record deficits to record surpluses; the creation of over 22 million jobs—more than any other administration; low levels of unemployment, poverty, and crime; and the highest home ownership and college enrollment rates in history.After leaving the White House, President Clinton established the William J. Clinton Foundation with the mission to strengthen the capacity of people in the United States and throughout the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence. His Clinton Global Initiative brings together global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues.He served as the UN Envoy for Tsunami Recovery and is now the UN Special Envoy to Haiti.




Author Residence: Chappaqua, NY




Author Hometown: Hope, AR
 
Published November 8, 2011 by Knopf. 208 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, History. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Nov 27 2011
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Critic reviews for Back to Work
All: 12 | Positive: 8 | Negative: 4

Kirkus

Excellent
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Nov 08 2011

Vintage Clinton, with provocative if generally evenhanded solutions to the economic crisis and political stalemate plaguing the country.

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Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Erik Tarloff on Nov 20 2011

Everything in it is worthy, but only a wonk (or a reviewer) would want to read it to the end.

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NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by JEFF MADRICK on Dec 09 2011

Clinton’s jobs plan is largely a repetition of Obama’s recent recommendations, which include a temporary cut in payroll taxes and a reversal of the Bush tax cuts for the well-off.

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NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Michiko Kakutani on Nov 07 2011

In the end this book seems meant less as a detailed blueprint for job creation than a catalyst for getting people to focus on the serious issues facing the United States...

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NY Journal of Books

Excellent
Reviewed by Andrew Rosenbaum on Nov 08 2011

President Clinton has written a down-to-earth, practical handbook on what he thinks government needs to do to get the economy up and running again.

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Examiner

Excellent
Reviewed by AMANDA MOLE on Jan 19 2012

Whatever your opinion of Mr. Clinton may be, one cannot deny the practicality of his suggestions and potential solutions. I strongly encourage others to read this book, and vote for people with practical ideas instead of party influence.

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LA Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Carolyn Kellogg on Nov 08 2011

The most interesting thing about this book is not the economic arguments themselves, but that they're being made in one place, in plain language, by Clinton.

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The Economist

Excellent
Reviewed by The Economist on Nov 19 2011

Some of the former president's suggestions are not as convincing as others. Yet, through the sheer number and range of his ideas, Mr Clinton manages to convey a badly needed sense of hope.

Read Full Review of Back to Work: Why We Need Sma... | See more reviews from The Economist

Christian Science Monitor

Excellent
Reviewed by Molly Driscoll on Nov 07 2011

The former president, who discusses his administration's job creation and reduction of the federal debt in the book, also includes many ideas on how to fix the country’s economy...

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Huffington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by BETH FOUHY on Nov 03 2011

In his book, "Back to Work," Clinton analyzes the factors that contributed to the nation's current economic woes and offers several policy prescriptions he says would create jobs and make the U.S. more competitive.

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The Washington Post

Below average
Reviewed by Daniel Gross on Nov 04 2011

The book’s 46 theses offer plenty of useful material. But “Back to Work” would be even more useful if the 47th point explained how to get those effective ideas enacted into law in today’s Washington.

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Chicago Tribune

Excellent
Reviewed by Carolyn Kellogg on Nov 11 2011

The most interesting thing about this book is not the economic arguments themselves, but that they're being made in one place, in plain language, by Clinton.

Read Full Review of Back to Work: Why We Need Sma...

Reader Rating for Back to Work
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