By Jim Bowman
The book is America 3.0: Rebooting American Prosperity in the 21st Century – Why America's Greatest Days Are Yet to Come, co-authored by Oak Parker Michael Lotus and James Bennett.
The speaker is Michael Lotus. Date and time: April 9, 7 pm in the Oak Park library's Veteran's Room, 2nd floor of 834 Lake Street.
He is one of the library's scintillating series of author-speakers, the third of six currently scheduled for April and May — on books about growing food and cooking it, how women of all ages can enjoy sex, how children raise parents (yes, it's not a typo), and walk-racing in the 1870s and 1880s!
Been there, done that -- 20 years ago, talking up a book on library time -- and it was a pleasure, believe me.
As this and the other talks will be a pleasure for you the book-reader and thinker of great thoughts.
This America 3.0 book uses the language of software development to describe three Americas, one past, another present, a third yet to come.
America 1.0, roughly 1603 to 1860, was a time of "muscle power, wind and water power . . . the world of farms and small towns and frontier settlement."
America 2.0, our own America, has been an age of coal-powered steam engine, railroads, street cars, automobiles. Wealth rapidly increased overall. "Ordinary citizens," finding themselves "at the mercy of events," demanded help from their government beyond anything they had previously "needed or wanted."
It became the Progressive Era, what we have now, with its increasingly grim future of "borrowing irresponsibly, defaulting silently on creditors through inflation, squeezing taxpayers with more thorough intrusion and coercion, confiscating the private savings of Americans in the guise of 'rescuing' them, . . in general stripping and looting the country."
Now what? As bad as that sounds, Lotus and Bennett see a way out, along the way offering one fascinating historical explanation after another of our character as a people.
Thus the American nuclear family has been dominant, as in Britain, as opposed to the primarily extended family on the Continent. Germanic and English inheritances (not racial but cultural and economic) shaped us throughout the two Americas, 1.0 and 2.0, and are to be tapped and mined for the brave new world of 2040 and beyond.
Come to the Library April 9, to hear about all this from Michael Lotus, and maybe become a convert from pessimism about America's future, in the process -- who knows? -- laying down a few bucks for a signed copy.