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In the century after the Civil War, an economic revolution improved the American standard of living in ways previously unimaginable. Electric lighting, indoor plumbing, motor vehicles, air travel, and television transformed households and workplaces. But has that era of unprecedented growth come to an end? Weaving together a vivid narrative, historical anecdotes, and economic analysis, The Rise and Fall of American Growth challenges the view that economic growth will continue unabated, and demonstrates that the life-altering scale of innovations between 1870 and 1970 cannot be repeated. Robert Gordon contends that the nation's productivity growth will be further held back by the headwinds of rising inequality, stagnating education, an aging population, and the rising debt of college students and the federal government, and that we must find new solutions. A critical voice in the most pressing debates of our time, The Rise and Fall of American Growth is at once a tribute to a century of radical change and a harbinger of tougher times to come.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. ix-xiv
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  1. 1. Introduction: The Ascent and Descent of Growth
  2. pp. 1-24
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  1. Part I. 1870–1940—the Great Inventions Create a Revolution Inside and Outside the Home
  1. 2. The Starting Point: Life and Work in 1870
  2. pp. 27-61
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  1. 3. What They Ate and Wore and Where They Bought It
  2. pp. 62-93
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  1. 4. The American Home: From Dark and Isolated to Bright and Networked
  2. pp. 94-128
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  1. 5. Motors Overtake Horses and Rail: Inventions and Incremental Improvements
  2. pp. 129-171
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  1. 6. From Telegraph to Talkies: Information, Communication, and Entertainment
  2. pp. 172-205
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  1. 7. Nasty, Brutish, and Short: Illness and Early Death
  2. pp. 206-246
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  1. 8. Working Conditions on the Job and at Home
  2. pp. 247-287
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  1. 9. Taking and Mitigating Risks: Consumer Credit, Insurance, and the Government
  2. pp. 288-318
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  1. Entr’acte. The Midcentury Shift from Revolution to Evolution
  2. pp. 319-328
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  1. Part II. 1940–2015—the Golden Age and the Early Warnings of Slower Growth
  1. 10. Fast Food, Synthetic Fibers, and Split-Level Subdivisions: The Slowing Transformation of Food, Clothing, and Housing
  2. pp. 331-373
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  1. 11. See the USA in Your Chevrolet or from a Plane Flying High Above
  2. pp. 374-408
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  1. 12. Entertainment and Communications from Milton Berle to the iPhone
  2. pp. 409-440
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  1. 13. Computers and the Internet from the Mainframe to Facebook
  2. pp. 441-460
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  1. 14. Antibiotics, CT Scans, and the Evolution of Health and Medicine
  2. pp. 461-497
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  1. 15. Work, Youth, and Retirement at Home and on the Job
  2. pp. 498-521
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  1. Entr’acte. Toward an Understanding of Slower Growth
  2. pp. 522-532
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  1. Part III. the Sources of Faster and Slower Growth
  1. 16. The Great Leap Forward from the 1920s to the 1950s: What Set of Miracles Created It?
  2. pp. 535-565
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  1. 17. Innovation: Can the Future Match the Great Inventions of the Past?
  2. pp. 566-604
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  1. 18. Inequality and the Other Headwinds: Long-Run American Economic Growth Slows to a Crawl
  2. pp. 605-640
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  1. Postscript: America’s Growth Achievement and the Path Ahead
  2. pp. 641-652
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  1. Afterword to the Paperback Edition
  2. pp. 653-658
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 659-662
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  1. Data Appendix
  2. pp. 663-672
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 673-722
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  1. References
  2. pp. 723-746
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  1. Credits
  2. pp. 747-750
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 751-770
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781400888955
Related ISBN
9780691175805
MARC Record
OCLC
1132666593
Pages
784
Launched on MUSE
2020-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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