Read the full review in City Journal.
Made in the U.S.A.: The Rise and Retreat of American Manufacturing, by Vaclav Smil (MIT Press, 256 pp., 27.95)
Conventional wisdom holds that America’s transition from a manufacturing to a service-based economy is nearly complete. Mining and making stuff are out; surgery and software development are in. The U.S. has entered a post-industrial era. Not so fast, says Vaclav Smil. In his new book, Made in the U.S.A.: The Rise and Retreat of American Manufacturing, Smil argues persuasively that manufacturing matters as much in the current century as it did in the last—and that a revitalized manufacturing sector is vital for restoring growth, jobs, and American social dynamism.