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Were You Born on the Wrong Continent?: How the European Model Can Help You Get a Life (Paperback)

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Tired of working ’til you drop and not going anywhere? Try to imagine your life in a full-blown European social democracy—especially the German version. In an idiosyncratic, entertaining travelogue written in a “chatty, anecdotal style [that’s] appealingly digressive and winning” (Publishers Weekly), Thomas Geoghegan explains the appeal of “boring” Germany, where workers sit as directors on the big corporate boards and ordinary people have six weeks off and retire with pensions like golden parachutes.

Free public goods, a bit of worker control, and whopping trade surpluses—the German version of “European socialism” doesn’t sound too bad. Were You Born on the Wrong Continent? explains where you might have been happier—or at least had time off to be unhappy properly. “Written with humor and candor, making for an easy, fun read” (AARP Bulletin), it is also a “timely, cogently argued, laugh-out-loud-funny book” (Katrina vanden Heuvel). And it tells us why Americans should pay attention to Germany, where ordinary people can work three hundred to four hundred hours less a year than we do and still have one of the most competitive economies in the world.

About the Author

Thomas Geoghegan is a practicing attorney and the author of several books, including the National Book Critics Circle Award finalist Which Side Are You On?, In America’s Court, and See You in Court (all available from The New Press). He has written for the Nation, the New York Times, and Harper’s and lives in Chicago.

Praise for Were You Born on the Wrong Continent?: How the European Model Can Help You Get a Life…

[C]lever and immensely appealing.
The Nation

Witty and ironic—and to the point. . . . [A] necessary primer.
Financial Times

Geoghegan’s passing comments are entertaining and his acerbic wit fun as he buttresses his case with hard facts. . . . [P]olitical economics with a human face.
Chicago Tribune

[T]ruly eye-opening.
St. Petersburg Times

Geoghegan . . . once again entertains and instructs us. And by showing that a more humane form of capitalism is not only possible but actually succeeding in the heart of Europe, he also gives us hope.

Product Details ISBN-10: 1595587063
ISBN-13: 9781595587060
Published: New Press, The, 10/01/2011
Pages: 336
Language: English