The End of the American Century

You thought I was Chicken Little for warning about the decline of American S&T.  This book by David S. Mason makes the case that everything is going down the drain! The blurb says the book documents “the interrelated dimensions of American social, economic, political and international decline, marking the end of a period of economic affluence and world dominance that began with World War II. The war on terror and the Iraq War have exacerbated American domestic weakness and malaise, and its image and stature in the world community. Dynamic economic and political powers like China and the European Union are steadily challenging and eroding US global influence. This global shift will require substantial adjustments for U.S. citizens and leaders alike.”

The author has a blog for discussion of these issues at

Sounds like my kind of gloom and doom.  I’ll have to mosey over to Amazon and buy a copy 

R. D. (Cassandra) Shelton

PS: The Chinese must have liked the book, too. They’ve already translated it into Chinese:

2 thoughts on “The End of the American Century

  1. David Mason

    Thanks for the posting, R.D., both here and on my website. I have a section on science in my book, in Chapter 4: “The Dimming of America: Education, Science and Fundamentalism.” Indeed, the Chinese are interested in the whole theme of my book, in part because of the huge investments they have in U.S. dollars and debt instruments (as you address in your most recent post). I recently gave a lecture in Shanghai, attended by over 1300 people!

    Can you tell me more about yourself, R.D. (either here or by email)? I couldn’t find anything about you on this site, but would like to post a link to your webpage on my own.

    Dave Mason

  2. R. D. Shelton

    Wow! After reading this book, I was ready to buy a one-way ticket to Montreal. I’ve been documenting the decline of American science and technology, but Prof. Mason extends that decline to many other aspects of our culture: economic prosperity, financal health, national security, international relations, and many others. The disastrous presidency of George W. Bush accelerated the decline and made it obvious to everyone, at least everyone who still reads a newspaper. We Americans have been living beyond our means for decades, and the fiasco in Iraq and the financial meltdown, largely caused by American over-consumption and greed, have revealed that the US emperor has no clothes.

    The book’s new epilogue on the Obama Presidency merely provides some hope that America can slow its precipitous rate of decline. But wait! Just because were well on our way to losing our number one position doesn’t mean that we should despair. Citizens of every other country have been in that position and didn’t let it bother them. While Prof. Mason does end the epilogue on a more upbeat note, I, for one, would like to see a companion book that acentuates the positive. After all, the glass must be at least half full when we still have almost the world’s highest per capita income, a model democracy where a white majority just elected a black president, and most Nobel prizes still come our way.

    Another companion book could cover what it’s going to be like living in the Chinese Century. This is the real problem, not that American is no longer going to be Number One, but who it is being replaced by. As long as the People’s Republic of China remains an authoritarian police state, there are obvious dangers to the world in its supremcy. Anyone who has read biographies of Lenin, Stalin and Mao knows how rapidly such a state could be taken over by a dangerous figure, and how hard it would be to dislodge them in a government like China’s.

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