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Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
Yes because the central insight about advanced economy manufacturing is so important to the future of work and the economy.
How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?
The majority of the book is a series of case studies. They are presented in a long sequence and there doesn't seem to be a lot to distinguish them from one another. It would have been better to pick out recurring themes (e.g. the role of 'Connectors') and compare these across the different cases. Instead we get what comes across as the authors' unedited field notes.
I felt like the subject matter was worth delving into further than the authors did. There was surprisingly little data cited; mostly just anecdotal observations. The chapter transitions were confusing in the audiobook. I would hear the same sentence four times within a couple of minutes and it took me a while to realize it must be chapter heading and intro, followed by chapter text. The narrator did as much as he could with what he was given. A good general book if you have no previous background in the subject, probably not for anyone with intense or personal interest in the reemergence of rust belts.