In China's Shadow


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The Crisis of American Entrepreneurship

Reed Hundt

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“Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the twenty-first century."—Vice President Al Gore

This book begins with an eye-opening exploration of the rise of China’s economy and an assessment of its potential for further rapid growth. The implications of China’s new power are nothing short of profound, Reed Hundt contends. In China's Shadow proceeds to paint a detailed landscape of the new reality confronting American businesses and citizens. For the first time in over one hundred years, Americans face critical challenges to their economy and way of life owing not only to China’s impending economic might but also to the drift of U.S. business practices and government regulations over the past decade. Aiming for a respectable defeat in the competition of nations will imperil not only the American Dream of an ever-increasing standard of living but also the American project itself, Hundt warns. Meeting the foreseeable challenges is not a matter of legislative strategy from the political left or right or prescriptive plans for businesses. The best chance for Americans to lead the world in job and wealth creation lies in an expanded and renewed culture of entrepreneurship. Hundt reviews the lessons of the 1990s, when the architectures of law, technology, and leadership produced a robust culture of entrepreneurship, and analyzes how entrepreneurship is being undermined today. He challenges Americans to do what they do best—adapt, invent, innovate, take risks—and points the way for a reinvigorated entrepreneurial society.

The former chairman of the FCC, Reed Hundt is senior adviser on information industries to McKinsey & Company, a worldwide management consulting firm in Washington, D.C.

Click here to see Reed Hundt discuss his book as part of's Authors@Google speaker series.

Click here for Reed Hundt's "Perspective" article in the Denver Post.

“Reed Hundt casts a sober and objective eye on the subject of globalization. The results are a powerful call to action. The solution he advocates—changing the culture surrounding innovation—is daunting.  But, as he points out, nothing less than the future of the United States is at stake.”—Andy Grove, Former Chairman, Intel Corporation

"Reed Hundt offers provocative and intriguing prescriptions for America, as it faces China—its greatest challenge in decades. Offering a unique perspective that combines the role of law, technology, and entrepreneurship, In China's Shadow should be read from Silicon Valley to the White House."—David B. Yoffie, Max & Doris Starr Professor of International Business Administration, Harvard Business School

"Hundt draws intriguing lessons from the late, lamented economic boom years to create a reform agenda for American business, government, and education."—James Fallows, National Correspondent, The Atlantic Monthly

"A remarkable book about America's response to China, one which should change the terms of the national debate in Corporate America, Washington, and Wall Street. It is deeper than any of the policy-oriented books I have seen, totally original in its focus, and extremely well-written to boot."—Jeffrey E. Garten, Juan Trippe Professor of International Trade and Finance, Yale School of Management

"This book makes an important contribution to our understanding of American entrepreneurship and of the emergence of China as a major player in the capitalist world."—Richard S. Tedlow, Harvard Business School

"In China's Shadow draws a path for an American Renaissance in response to China's rapid rise. Reed Hundt's new book combines lessons from history, technology and optimism with insights on every page."—Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google

"Reed Hundt has given us a brilliant call to arms, and a blueprint for how to restore America's entrepreneurial spirit and maintain our economic robustness in the face of an emerging economic rival in China. At once sophisticated and accessible, anecdotal and analytical,  In China's Shadow is a must read for the business, political, academic and journalistic communities—the sooner people read it, the faster we will get back on track."—Norman Ornstein

"The frames we use—think "Cold War" or "cash cow"—shape the challenges and choices we perceive. Hundt reframes China as an amplifier for entrepreneurship. He shows that America's standard of living is at risk, unless we fight fire with entrepreneurial fire."—Thomas Eisenmann, Harvard Business School

"Against China's surging challenge, Reed Hundt has issued a compelling call to re-ignite the nation's entrepreneurial prowess and renew the American dream."—John Jay Iselin, Marconi Society

"Reed Hundt shows characteristic insight into the Chinese challenge by emphasizing the all too anemic American answer. He calls for business and public policy to return to the sources of American growth and advantage in entrepreneurship. This is a timely book, well argued, and right."—Tim Bresnahan, Stanford University

"In China's Shadow offers a powerful explanation as to why neither economic protectionism, nor laissez-faire complacency amounts to an effective American response to China's rising economy. Hundt argues persuasively that an effective strategy will require America to stop treating individualism and solidarity, freedom and equality as inherently incompatible. This book is certain to launch an important national conversation."—Peter M. Shane, author of Democracy Online: The Potential for Political Renewal Through the Internet

"Without real gut tasting risky entrepreneurialism, all will be lost for America. Reed Hundt makes an original, interesting, and compelling case for its reinvigoration—anyone interested in what happens next must read this"—Barry Diller, Chairman,

IAC/InterActiveCorp and Expedia


"Brilliantly reminding us when government can and cannot make a difference, this is a polemic in the best sense as it mixes insider stories, far ranging analysis, and barbed opinion. Reed Hundt proposes a bold strategy for using government to support an even deeper entrepreneurial revolution by remaking America's social contract and technology policy. Big ideas and an insider's command of the digital technology frontier make this a terrific read."—Peter Cowhey, University of California, San Diego

"Reed Hundt's insights on how to get stuff done are augmented by insider anecdotes on how people got stuff done as key moments in American history. He really gets it—how the world works, what makes America successful and what will keep us successful."—John Doerr, Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers

"Reed Hundt brings a broad depth of experience to this provocative work. America benefits when informed citizens like Hundt are at the front end of thoughtful debate about our nation's future."—Senator Chuck Hagel

"As FCC Chairman during the Clinton-Gore Administration, Reed Hundt sat in the catbird seat of the great technological and economic boom of the 90's. With his background in government and business, I'm not surprised that he has provided an important, insightful, and brilliantly written diagnosis and prescription of how Americans must respond to global competition. This book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the 21st Century."—Vice President Al Gore

“Hundt says America must reinvent its historic culture of entrepreneurship and embrace global technologies or lose the America dream. Highly recommended for business and current events collections in larger libraries.”—Library Journal

"Well written, soundly reasoned, and impeccably documented ."—Cecil Johnson, Philadelphia Inquirer

"Reed Hundt makes a powerful case that the competitive challenge posed by China can be met by the renewed and expanded practice of entrepreneurship."—John S. McClenahen, Industry Week

"Provocative."—John T. Landry, Harvard Business Review

"Unlike many among the plethora of new books about the China challenge, In China’s Shadow focuses more upon what is happening in this country that is putting it in jeopardy of being overshadowed by the rising economic dragon than it does upon what’s going on in China. Hundt does, however, recount enough Chinese history and provide enough analysis of the economic and political state of affairs in China to provide a comparative context for his recommendations for what America needs to be doing."—Los Angeles Daily News

Selected as a 2007 AAUP University Press Book for Public and Secondary School Libraries.
ISBN: 9780300126099
Publication Date: December 28, 2007
208 pages, 5 7/8 x 9

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