The author of the best-selling Yen! (S. & S., 1988; Columbine: Fawcett, 1990. reprint) and Euroquake ( LJ 4/1/91) continues to provoke thought on America's best strategy for global competitiveness in the 21st century. Currently, Burstein says, the United States suffers from a ``competitiveness gap.'' While Japan builds better, cheaper cars, Washington tries to strong-arm Japan into buying less competitive American autos. Instead, he argues, we should be trying to open markets for the American goods that can compete, like software and biotechnology. The United States should also establish a Trans-Pacific free trade area with Japan. By trading on each others' strengths, instead of weaknesses, both sides could win the game. Burstein's book, which will be in demand in both popular and academic business collections, presents complex issues clearly. Highly recommended.-- Kris Swank, American Graduate Sch. of Internat. Management Lib., Glendale, Ariz .
Burstein is author of two recent books dealing with international economic relations, "Yen! Japan's New Financial Empire and Its Threat to America" (1988) and "Euroquake: Europe's Explosive Economic Challenge Will Change the World" (1991). Here he echoes analysts who suggest that Japan is in the midst of an economic crisis, but he adds that within five years it will recover and become even more successfully competitive. Burstein argues that this period of temporary Japanese vulnerability presents a unique "window of opportunity" for the U.S. He contends that we should encourage Japanese investment in the U.S. and create a "Trans-Pacific Economic Community," forging a partnership that ties together the economic interests of both nations. As in his other books, Burstein is sometimes guilty of hyperbole and simplification, but he presents provocative ideas worthy of debate.