The Midwest has always been the heart of America - both its economic bellwether and the repository of its national identity. Now, in a new, globalized age, the Midwest is challenged as never before. With an influx of immigrant workers and an outpouring of manufacturing jobs, the region that defines the American self - the Lake Wobegon image of solid, hardworking farmers and factory hands - is changing at breakneck speed. As factory farms and global forces displace old ways of life, the United States is being transformed literally from the inside out.
In Caught in the Middle, longtime Chicago Tribune reporter Richard Longworth explores the new realities of life in the heartland, uncovering what these mean for the region - and the country. In the process, he covers everything from the manufacturing collapse that has crippled the Midwest to the biofuels revolution that may save it, and from the school districts struggling with new immigrants to the Iowa meatpacking towns that can't survive without them. The results, which are often surprising, add up to a portrait of the vast and influential segment of America's economy and culture that goes almost entirely ignored in the national media.
With clear, tough-minded thinking, tempered by a lifetime of experience in the Midwest, Longworth addresses what's right and what's wrong in the region and offers a prescription of how it must change - politically as well as economically - if it is to survive and prosper.
A respected financial reporter takes a look at globalization's impact on the United States, Germany, France, and Japan and provides long-term prospects for dealing in the complex global economy.
Global markets have displayed their power to enrich, impoverish and even reshape the nations in its path. This book, one of the first on globalization written for the general reader, shows how the globalization of money, trade and investment is wrenching not only the Third World but the First-World societies that the US, Japan and Western Europe so carefully crafted in the decades following World War II.
With reporting and analysis covering three continents, Longworth shows how the excesses inherent in the global economy are splitting the American middle class, undermining the social cohesion that underlies Europe's post-World War II recovery and prosperity, and forcing cracks in the entity called Japan Inc. Since the book first appeared, all these pressures have intensified, making it an invaluable guide to both the past and future of the industrialized nations.
Longworth explains how global markets work. More important, he goes beyond economics and beyond the Beltway to examine globalization's impact on the people who must live with it. He describes the very different ways each First-World society is coping with globalization, or succumbing to it. Finally, he stresses that, like any economic system, globalization can -- and should -- be controlled by free people and their governments acting alone or in concert.
"A clear-eyed dispatch from the front lines of the battlefield of the globalized economy." -- Daniel Yergin, co-author of The Commanding Heights.
"An engrossing empirical survey of how advanced societies grapple with the disruptive forces of global markets. In a debate marked more by polemics than close analysis, Global Squeeze is a useful contribution." -- Foreign Affairs
Once known for gangsters and meatpacking, Chicago was virtually synonymous with the rough and tumble side of the industrial era.
Today, however, Chicago has outgrown even national prominence to become a truly global city--one of the most famous and most important in the world. Global Chicago is the first book to describe Chicago's transformation from industrial powerhouse to global metropolis. It will change the way both Chicagoans and the rest of the world view the city.
Chicago has a long history of adaptation. Having gone from a swampy trading post to a major industrial center, Chicago also rebuilt itself in the wake of a devastating fire to become one of the world's great architectural showcases. While many former industrial centers became mere shadows of themselves, Chicago succeeded by transforming itself again.
The Chicago of today is a hub for corporate headquarters like those of Motorola, Boeing, and United Airlines. It is a transportation and information crossroads, with the busiest airport in North America as well as the most internet traffic. With over 120 foreign language newspapers, it is also home to vast and vibrant immigrant communities, a focus of global services, and a center for global law and medicine. Essay authors include professors from top institutions, veteran journalists, experts on labor and government, and the presidents of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
By drawing on the expertise of the city's leading players, Global Chicago offers unique insights into the city's global assets and its economic, social, intellectual, and cultural links to the world as seen from an insider's perspective. Their essays probe deeply into the financial and governmental infrastructure crucial for success by reflecting on specific lessons to be learned from the example of worldwide Chicago businesses. Amidst the ruthless international competition that characterizes globalization, Chicago makes decisions today that will affect both its success and character for the coming century. Global Chicago serves simultaneously as a catalog of achievements that would make anyone proud to call the city home and a timely counsel for ensuring its future as a world leader.