Richard Florida Books

The Great Reset

How new ways of living and working drive post-crash prosperity
By Richard Florida

We tend to view prolonged economic downturns, like the Great Depression of the 1930’s and the Long Depression of the late 19th century, in terms of the crisis and pain they cause, rather than as the opportunities they invariably represent. But history teaches us that these great crises are opportunities to remake our economy and society and generate whole new epochs of economic growth and prosperity. These periods of “creative destruction” have been some of the most fertile, in terms of innovation, invention and energetic risk-taking in history, and this is what sets the stage for full-scale recovery.

In THE GREAT RESET, bestselling author and economic development expert Richard Florida provides an engaging and sweeping examination of these previous economic epochs or “resets,” distilling the deep forces that shaped their physical and social landscapes, reshaping economies and societies. Looking toward the future, Florida identifies the patterns that will drive the next Great Reset and simultaneously reshape virtually every aspect of our lives—from how and where we live to how we work to how we invest in individuals and infrastructure, and how we shape our cities and regions. Florida shows how these core elements, when taken together, will spur a fresh era of growth and prosperity, define a new geography of progress, and stimulate surprising opportunities for each of us. Among these forces will be:

  • new consumption patterns and new assumptions about “ownership” that are less centered around houses and cars,
  • new forms of infrastructure that speed the movement of people, goods and ideas
  • a radically altered and much denser economic landscape organized around megaregions that will drive the development of new industries, jobs and a whole new way of life.

We’ve weathered tough times before. They are a necessary part of economic cycles, giving us a chance to see clearly what’s working and what’s not. Societies can be reborn in such crises, emerging fresh, strong and refocused. Now is our chance to anticipate what that brighter future will look like, and take the steps that will get us there faster

With his trademark blend of wit, irreverence, and rigorous research and analysis, Florida presents a, positive and counterintuitive vision of our future, one that calls into question long-held beliefs about the nature of economic progress and that forces us to reassess our very way of life. He argues convincingly that it’s time to turn our efforts, as individuals, as governments, as a society, to putting the necessary pieces in place for a vibrant, prosperous future.

Story behind the book – by Richard Florida

When I was a boy, my father liked to remind me that the Great Depression remade America from the ground up. The invention of new technology, the increased productivity of factories and assembly lines, the struggles of workers for higher wages and better working conditions; and the actions of government to stimulate the economy, regulate banks, create a modern mortgage market, and provide a new kind of social safety net during the crisis—all these forces paved the way for the dramatic upswing in economic growth after World War II.

My dad – a blue collar worker born in 1921 who dropped out of junior high school to take up work in an eyeglass factory– had intuited something that also captured the attention of the greatest economic thinkers of our time, but which many contemporary policy-makers and business analysts continue to miss even today: Economic crises are critical periods when our economy is remade in ways that allow it to recover and grow again. Karl Marx wrote that it was old patterns of class relations that hold back the incredible raw productive forces of capitalism; he saw crises as the way to realign those social relations, and revolutionize the economy. For Joseph Schumpeter, the greatest theorist of entrepreneurship, innovation and business cycles, it was crisis that released the inventive and entrepreneurial spirits and gave rise to the great gales of creative destruction that remake industries and power long waves of economic growth. John Maynard Keynes saw in crises the opportunity for government to intervene in new ways to stimulate consumption and demand which would ultimately spur investment and lead the way to recovery. Or as contemporary Stanford economist Paul Romer is fond of saying, “A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.” He’s right.

I, too, see this crisis and the ones that have come before it – the Great Depression of the 1930s which gave rise to the long-boom of the 20th century; the Long Depression of the 1870s which paved the way for the industrial era – as tremendous, indeed unprecedented, opportunities to reexamine and to “reset” the very means by which we live, work, and enjoy our lives. In THE GREAT RESET, I explain how “resets” work, detail the core actions needed to spur recovery; and paint a picture of what our economy, society and geography will look like – of how we will work and live – after the crises ends.

For the reset to be effective and successful, it must go far beyond companies, business models, new innovations, even public policies. It must be a wholesale reset – a reset of our very way of life. The Long Depression transformed America from a largely rural country dotted with trading centers and mill towns to a country of giant industrial cities such as Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Detroit and Chicago which concentrated production, generated a great wave of innovation and created a whole new geography of and growth. The Great Depression of the 1930s was solved not simply by higher levels of New Deal spending or even by mobilization for World War II, but by the mass suburbanization of the 1950s and beyond, which spurred demand for the automobiles, appliances and consumer goods streaming off the assembly lines. My goal is to show how our last economic landscape – that of suburbanization, Sunbelt growth and a run-away housing bubble — sowed the seeds of the current crisis. And in doing so, I hope to illustrate the demographic trends and economic shifts – the great migration of people and business to core cities, smart suburbs and the great mega-regions of our time – that will hold the key to revitalizing the American and global economies once more.

National Business Book Award Finalist
April 2011

Fareed Zakaharia CNN GPS book of the week
May 2010

“I was privileged to have the opportunity to read Richard Florida’s The Great Reset and consider it to be his most important, most valuable book…thus far. I highly recommend this book to anyone who shares my need to gain a better understanding both of the process by which capitalism in the U.S. has evolved during the past 140 years and of its impact on where people live and work. The Great Reset is a brilliant achievement. Bravo!”
Robert Morris, management consultant and reviewer of more than 1,900 business books

“With a historian’s grand sweep and a geographer’s keen eye for place, Richard Florida shows us how the cycles of capitalism have built and rebuilt the farms, cities, and suburbs that define America. This timely and thought-provoking book gives us important insights into the reshaping of America’s economic and physical landscape.”
Jeffrey D. Sachs – Director of the Earth Institute, Columbia University

“The Great Reset shows how new technology and the new geographies of living and working come together to drive recovery… Must reading for anyone who wants to understand where we are now and where we are headed.”
Chris Anderson, Editor, Wired Magazine

“Few people provide greater clarity on the importance of place in the knowledge-driven economy than Richard Florida.”
Robert D. Yaro, President, Regional Plan Association, New York

“Florida’s work is challenging many of the verities of the field”.

“A pioneering cartographer of talent.”
Fast Company

“Never before have I seen anyone capture so succinctly the values and desires of the new ‘creative class’ and the essence of human capital and the creative ethos.”
John Seely Brown, Former Director, Palo Alto Research Center (PARC)

“How the Crash Will Reshape America (March 2009) Nominated for National Magazine Award.”
Atlantic Monthly

Listed by the National Post as one of “… the most promising-sounding books by Canadian authors…”
Sarah Murdoch, National Post, March 2010

“The Great Reset by Richard Florida sets the stage for US Initiative by CEOs for Cities. Big econ shocks leave landscape transformed.”
Carol Coletta, President and CEO, CEOs for Cities

Conference Board Inc. listed The Great Reset as a “Book Worth Noting”
The Conference Board Review, April 2010

“Richard Florida is one of the world’s best-known urban theorists”
Andrew Price, Good Magazine, April 2010

“…raises interesting points about how the latest economic shock plays off some surprising trends.”
Kyle Smith, New York Post, April 2010

Harvard Business Review Recommended Book
May 2010

“In my opinion, The Great Reset to be the most valuable book that Richard Florida has written…thus far.”Robert Morris,, April 2010
“There’s much in this book to provoke thought.”
Hardy Green, Daily Finance, April 2010

The Great Reset is hailed one of Amazon’s ‘Hot New Releases’, April 2010

2nd in Hot New Business Releases, May 2010

Top 5 in New Non Fiction, May 2010

Top 10 in New Releases in Business and Investing, May 2010

Top 50 Business Books, May 2010

One of This Week’s Hot Reads
The Daily Beast, April 2010

“In The Great Reset, Richard Florida offers a thoughtful, generally hopeful assessment of where we are now, how we got here – and how we can rebuild in the future.”
BizEd, May/June 2010

“… immensely stimulating book…”
Michael Adams, The Globe and Mail, May 2010

“A breath of fresh air for anyone hoping that Americans (an economists) will learn from their past mistakes.”
The Daily Beast, May 2010

“Jack Covert Selects” The Great Reset in his monthly book review
Jack Covert, President of business book retailer 800-CEO-READ, May 2010
Miami Herald Book Club Feature
May 2010

“Florida’s latest book, The Great Reset, offers up a future vision for America…”
Dominic Basulto, Endless Innovation, May 2010

“Richard Florida can be counted among the great prophets of our age. This incredibly interesting and well-written commentator on the socio-economics of the modern era has hit yet another grand slam…’The Great Reset’…”
Nicholas F. Benton, Falls News Church Press, June 2010

“… compelling new book, The Great Reset…”
John Hagel, Edge Perspectives, June 2010
4.5 out of 5 Stars Rating
Delta Sky Magazine, June 2010

“The prescriptions in this stimulating book ought to be on the national agenda. Florida is in the vanguard of something vital.”
New Urban News, June 2010

“…a forward-looking, big picture book.”
CEO Read, August 2010

“The Great Reset is a fantastic book that I think should be read especially by all policy makers seeking an inkling as to what will and should happen in the aftermath of this disastrous financial meltdown…immensely stimulating book…”
Abby Wong, Malaysia Star, June 2010

“A must-read book on the future of the global economy…”
Fan To Pro, June 2010

“…The Great Reset is an interesting, provocative and intelligent book.”
Richard Pachter, The Miami Herald, June 2010

Summer Hot Read
Elle magazine, July 2010

“Richard Florida became an academic superstar with the 2002 publication of The Rise of the Creative Class. His latest work will only add to his phenomenal reputation.”
Terry Pender, Guelph Mercury July 2010

“The Great Reset is an important contribution to help lead to a more sustainable and greener economics.”
Mike Chitty, New Start Magazine, July 2010

“… certainly one of the best and brightest books released this year.”
CEO Read, August 2010

“Top 10 Back-to-School Books”
Insurance Networking News, September 2010

“Economists, historians, and futurists may all find it interesting reading.”
The Futurist Magazine, October 2010

“Best 30 business books this year”
Investment News, October 27th 2010

800-CEO-READ 2010 Business Book Award
December 2010

The best business books of 2010
Miami Herald, December 2010

Top business books of 2010
Ottawa Citizen, January 2011

The Swedish List of Best Summer Reads
Chef, July 2011

The Great Reset Features and Reviews

Ottawa Citizen : Top business books of 2010

Richard Florida’s, The Great Reset, makes the top business books list of 2010. Florida’s flood of data forms a nice mosaic of snapshots as he explains how the Industrial Revolution and the Great Depression morphed the largely rural, agrarian economy and population of the United States into an urban manufacturing powerhouse.

January 3, 2011
The Great Reset Features and Reviews

Innovation Ireland Review : The Great Reset

Academic and best-selling author, Richard Florida, has long been documenting how creativity is revolutionizing the global economy. His new book, The Great Reset, says our post-crash prosperity depends on it all the more. One of the critical things for Ireland will be developing strategies and approaches that continue to harness the creativity and innovation of the entire workforce.

October 20, 2010
The Great Reset Features and Reviews

The Economic Times : The Great Reset: Richard Florida presents enduring image of America in recession

In his new book, The Great Reset: how new ways of living drive post-crash prosperity, Florida goes beyond economics in his analysis of the affects of global financial crisis. His work is built around the theory of ‘spatial fix’ advanced by neo-Marxist geographer David Harvey in mid-1970s, to describe how capitalism resolves inner crises through geo-graphical restructuring.

September 24, 2010
The Great Reset Interviews

My City Way : Richard Florida on the Economic Crisis, the Great Reset and Creativity

Richard Florida has spent the past decade talking about the virtues of the Creative Class and its ability to drive economies. The Great Reset, his fifth book on the Creative Class takes a somewhat contrarian view on the current thinking on the economic recession. The view is contrarian in that it’s more optimistic, and rooted in a belief that members of the Creative Class have the skills and talent to lead the global economy out of the current economic crisis.

October 17, 2011
EventsInternational publicationsRise of the Creative Class News ArticlesThe Great Reset News Articles

WIRED : Richard Florida: ‘The crash boosted innovation’

Richard Florida is the day’s last speaker at the London Conference, an annual gathering of influencers to debate the city’s challenges and opportunities, in November 2012.
The author of The Rise of the Creative Class has been cited — by such diverse figures as David Cameron and Bono — as an expert on how cities must evolve.

April 10, 2013
Creative ClassEventsRise of the Creative Class News ArticlesThe Great Reset News Articles

Press of Atlantic City : Economist tells Atlantic City conference that ‘creative class’ is future of work force

What does it take to revitalize Atlantic City and other places hit hard by the recession, the housing-market collapse and the vanishing manufacturing industry? Economist Richard Florida answers by looking at how this market upheaval differs from others in American history.

November 5, 2012