Bill Clinton’s New Book Pubs Today, Out from Embargo

Veteran LJ poli sci book reviewer, Karl Helicher, assesses Bill Clinton’s new book, on sale today. Here’s his review.

Clinton, Bill. Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy. Knopf. Nov. 2011. c.189p. ISBN 9780307959751. $23.95. GOVT

Former President Clinton weighs in here on the current long recession, offering solutions unlikely to be enacted in this political era of bad feelings. For the last 30 years, opposition to big government has won elections, but in practice, claims Clinton, it has wreaked havoc on the economy, leading to the decline of the middle class, a large increase in the number of urban and rural poor, and the disappearance of good manufacturing jobs. Clinton praises the 2010 bipartisan report of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, especially its recommendation to eliminate many tax credits and deductions that have disproportionately benefited the wealthiest 10%, and he makes strong cases for health care reform, job creation through greater support of green industries, and insourcing jobs through incentives to keep them in the United States. He also frequently touts his own administration’s successes, but has a selective memory regarding its failures. VERDICT Political junkies and concerned citizens, willing to wade through many anecdotal examples accompanied by confusing charts and statistics, may find merit in the call for greater public-private sector cooperation. Given Clinton’s popularity and name recognition, his book will likely be in demand although it’s not an easy read. ‚ Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib.,King of Prussia,PA

Margaret Heilbrun About Margaret Heilbrun

Margaret Heilbrun is a former Senior Editor, Library Journal Book Review.