The Tyranny of Dead Ideas (new book)

tyrannyThe Tyranny of Dead Ideas: Letting Go of the Old Ways of Thinking to Unleash a New Prosperity, Matt Miller (Author)

From Publishers Weekly
If Fortune columnist Miller’s eerily prophetic book had come out earlier, it could have served as a wakeup call for Wall Street leaders and Washington, D.C. lawmakers before the failure of several venerable financial institutions required government bailouts. The author’s prescient observations make a persuasive case for how an American attitude of entitlement and outdated beliefs about government, education, taxes, business, corporate excess and health care threaten our national well-being and our position as a world leader. The author denounces such cherished and longstanding beliefs as Your Company Should Take Care of You, and The Kids Will Earn More than We Do, and examines their historical provenances—for example, he traces the adoption of pensions to the early 20th century, when employers like Proctor and Gamble and G.E. acted as feudal lords offering benefits to recruit and retain employees—strategies that are now strangling these same corporations at the expense of global competitiveness. Rather than a petulant indictment of our political and economic myopia, this book offers a fair-handed critique. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“Matt Miller writes and thinks with amazing clarity about some of the most difficult problems this country is facing. The Tyranny of Dead Ideas offers the most plausible way to renovate our political and policy thinking to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century — if we have the guts to go forward. This is must reading for the next president and for anyone who wants to be a creative citizen in a difficult time.”—Joe Klein, political columnist, Time

“This book will make you the most valuable contributor to your next workplace discussion of politics or the economy. Matt Miller explains the history of ideas in a way that forces fresh insights about the future.  I feel smarter already.”—Chip Heath, author of Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

“With crisp prose and compelling arguments, Matt Miller overturns orthodoxies left and right. Whatever your political persuasion, you will agree that The Tyranny of Dead Ideas is a tour de force — the rare book that can reshape the national agenda.”—Daniel H. Pink, author of A Whole New Mind

“To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, our times are piled high with difficulty, and just as we must act anew we must think anew. Matt Miller is one of those few, invaluable voices who is able to reach beyond the truisms of yesterday to help us think anew about tomorrow. I warmly recommend his pathbreaking new book The Tyranny of Dead Ideas.”David Gergen, director of the Center for Public Leadership, Harvard University, and senior political analyst, CNN

“In The Tyranny of Dead Ideas, Matt Miller drives a bulldozer into the complacent conventional wisdoms of our society, including the desirability of free trade, of paternalistic corporations, and even of low taxes. You need not agree with every idea to be invigorated by Miller’s bold and original vision.”Philip K. Howard, author of The Death of Common Sense and Life Without Lawyers

Here is more to read — something adapted from the book.

Update (1/09/09):  Kathleen Parker talks about the book here.

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