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Publisher's Summary

National best seller

What would actually make America great: more people.

If the most challenging crisis in living memory has shown us anything, it’s that America has lost the will and the means to lead. We can’t compete with the huge population clusters of the global marketplace by keeping our population static or letting it diminish, or with our crumbling transit and unaffordable housing. The winner in the future world is going to have more - more ideas, more ambition, more utilization of resources, more people.

Exactly how many Americans do we need to win? According to Matthew Yglesias, one billion.

From one of our foremost policy writers, One Billion Americans is the provocative yet logical argument that if we aren’t moving forward, we’re losing. Vox founder Yglesias invites us to think bigger, while taking the problems of decline seriously. What really contributes to national prosperity should not be controversial: supporting parents and children, welcoming immigrants and their contributions, and exploring creative policies that support growth - like more housing, better transportation, improved education, revitalized welfare, and climate change mitigation. Drawing on examples and solutions from around the world, Yglesias shows not only that we can do this, but why we must.

Making the case for massive population growth with analytic rigor and imagination, One Billion Americans issues a radical but undeniable challenge: Why not do it all and stay on top forever?

©2020 Matthew Yglesias (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about One Billion Americans

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  • Andrew
  • 16-09-2020

Novelty and Vision

One Billion Americans makes an affirmative and expansive case for radically expanding the remit of America. Frankly it was refreshing to read a book that actually has something to say rather than another book just explaining how dumb and broken our current system is. That said, I don't agree with every point in the book but that is as it should be. There a bunch of BS feel-good books out there that can repeat orthodoxy or explain the current system if that is what you want. What I want is a book with some guts and ideas. While I was waiting for my audio preorder which was released after the physical book I saw a lot of bashing of this book and harsh reviews. After reading it myself I understand the criticism though I mostly find it overblown. The bottom line is this is a book that presented interesting new ideas and perspective. You can disagree with it but at least it is not a milquetoast political memoir, insider story, or explainer of our current system focused on the past. Matt is right about this, it is better to think big than wallow in the myriad failing of our current system. If you are stuck thinking about the world as it is, how can you ever expect to create the world as it should be?

6 people found this helpful

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  • Tommy Adelson
  • 17-09-2020

FINALLY SOME BIG IDEAS

Fantastic book. Extremely readable, digestible, and enormously enlightening. Even if you disagree, these are great points for getting our country back on track.

3 people found this helpful

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  • K. Long
  • 15-09-2020

Bold ideas, well presented

Matt provides a lot of interesting ideas, in a framework premised on main stream ideas like America should strive to maintain its position in the world. If you enjoy Matt's contributions on Vox podcasts, you will greatly enjoy this audiobook.

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  • S. Ellerd
  • 28-09-2020

Good Premise, NOT Non-Partisan

I really like this concept. Absolutely support massive legal immigration and a better immigration process. That being said, this book is definitely NOT non-partisan. when describing conservatives, he misrepresents the Conservative position and calls conservatives "far-right" and "right-wing". But when speaking about Liberals, he calls them liberals and progressives. He doesn't use the same inflammatory terminology. He doesn't repeatedly call them left-wing or far left. Specifically in Chapter 5 he repeats this terminology over and over. I would've been been much more on board if he would've been truly non-partisan. Otherwise, it's an excellent concept.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-09-2020

Like the Weeds but with less cynicism.

I enjoyed listening. Didn't understand everything. Sometimes got lost in the minute, but overarching theme connected well. Not gonna lie the audio definitely didn't have the call to action resonate well with me.

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  • jaga
  • 20-11-2020

A bold idea, the reasoning and considerations

America has been growing in size at a fairly decent clip for many generations, so in and of itself, this is not out of left field. But that said, Matthew has put together a fairly thorough and very readable overview of why the US would want to continue growing and the related considerations. This is particularly timing given the many challenging issues the US currently faces, such as immigration policy, the national debt, deteriorating infrastructure, amongst others. Matthew’s view, as you would expect from the title, is that the US needs to grow its population substantially to remain a leading (if not the leading) global economic power. But he is realistic about the related implications, in the areas of immigration, housing, transportation, healthcare, education and others. The concept of growing America substantially is something I’ve thought about for many years, so I was very interested to see Matthew’s book. And while no single book can comprehensively cover an idea like this, Matthew has made a great effort to kick start the conversation.

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  • susan hoffman
  • 29-10-2020

fresh thinking and convincing arguments

a big idea that could appeal to anyone. lets think and act bigger. like a superpower

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  • Spencer Perry
  • 17-10-2020

Phenomenal Writing. Convincing Assertions

I picked up this audiobook after Yglesias' interview with Tyler Cowen, and I'm very glad I did. Every assertion is backed up by sincere considerations. Beyond the writing, the narration is masterful.

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  • Matthew
  • 13-10-2020

Pretty good!

Was pleasantly surprised by this book. Some of his policy prescriptions seemed a little hand-wavey to me (a little too much ‘it would be easy to...’ and ‘surely it’s worth the trade off to...’) but the general argument seems sound to me. I’ll be recommending to friends and family!

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  • kindle customer
  • 08-10-2020

Not My Usual But Really Enjoyed

I don't typically read Vox, but I thoughy the ideas presented were interesting and well thought out. Not all of them are practicable, but definitely food for thought.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-10-2020

Fantastique

I excitedly awaited the release and it did not disappoint. Very good breadth. I do wish he would have addressed other environmental issues beyond Climate change, including broader habitat encroachment issues than those just posed by grazing, the die off in insects and pollinators, and the regional inequity in water availability.

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  • Will
  • 04-10-2020

Great national revivalist book

This book does a great job in providing policy ideas to ensure future American greatness. Some of the ideas are a little esoteric but there are also some sensible seeming ones. How good the ideas are is difficult to say but the book is entertaining.

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