Trading Places: How We Allowed Japan To Take The Lead
By Clyde V. Prestowitz, Jr.
Basic Books, 1988, 384 pp.
Six years in the Department of Commerce and experience before that in business in Japan have given Mr. Prestowitz a collection of telling illustrations of how Japan runs its economy. The most interesting parts of the book, however, are his accounts-often firsthand-of American trade negotiations with Japan and why they have so often failed. He wants the United States to "wake up" and make economic strength a national objective. Many Japanese, he says, would like to see this as they are happier not trying to displace the United States as a leader. One can quarrel with the author on a number of points but his book cannot be brushed aside (and it is interesting to find officials of the Reagan Administration regretting the lack of an industrial policy).