In This Review

Global Squeeze: The Coming Crisis for First-World Nations
Global Squeeze: The Coming Crisis for First-World Nations
By Richard C. Longworth
Contemporary Books, 1998, 304 pp.

This book by a veteran journalist explores the impact of globalization on advanced industrialized countries and the struggles of workers, firms, and communities in its wake. Longworth seeks to explode the myth of a single Western capitalist model, arguing instead that Japan, the United States, Germany, and France each has a unique set of labor, business, and banking institutions along with a distinctive national view of the market's role. As a result, they experience globalization in markedly different ways. The United States most readily embraces the global economic transformation, while Japan actively resists it. Europeans, meanwhile, view globalization as "a beast to be accommodated, and, if possible, tamed."

Longworth's underlying argument is that national institutions and values fundamentally shape individual reactions to global economic change. Although his book is not an overarching synthesis of the logic and consequences of globalization, it serves as 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.