American Mojo: Lost and Found

American Mojo: Lost and FoundRestoring our Middle Class Before the World Blows By

In American Mojo: Lost and Found, Peter D. Kiernan, award-winning author of New York Times bestseller Becoming China’s Bitch, focuses on America’s greatest challenge—and opportunity—restoring the middle class to its full promise and potential. ... more

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In American Mojo: Lost and Found, Peter D. Kiernan, award-winning author of New York Times bestseller Becoming China’s Bitch, focuses on America’s greatest challenge—and opportunity—restoring the middle class to its full promise and potential.

Our educated, skilled and motivated middle class was the cornerstone of America’s postwar economic might, but the country’s dynamic core has struggled and changed dramatically through the last three decades. Kiernan’s extensively researched story, told through individual histories, shows how the middle class flourished under unique circumstances following World War II; and details how our middle class has been rocked and shaped by events abroad as much as at home. By excluding too many Americans, the middle class we reverently recall was fractured from the beginning. What emerges through his storytelling is a picture of middle class decline and opportunity that is fuller, more moving and profound, and ultimately more useful in terms of charting a path forward than other examinations. His unique global perspective is a vital ingredient in charting the way ahead. This new frontier thesis shows that middle class greatness is again within our grasp—if we take some powerful medicine and seize the global opportunity. America possesses the skills and talent the world needs. Americans must embrace what brought our middle class to prominence in the first place—our American Mojo—before it is too late and other countries steal the march.

All that is at stake is the soul of our nation.


American Mojo: Lost and Found ...more


Peter Kiernan is a man with a big vision―for the middle class. In this robust and imaginative analysis of how the middle class must be secured he cuts through the fog and presents a clear vision for a new course. Bravo.

Tom Brokaw

American Mojo is a page-turner of a gripping story, one that reads like fiction but in fact weaves the drama of the breakdown of our healthy middle class. And then hope brims from the pages as Peter Kiernan guides us toward a truly possible future where the jewel of our nation, our middle class, could actually shine again for real. If you care about America, there is no more important book out there today

Diane Nyad, motivational speaker and author of Other Shores, Basic Training for Women, and Boss of Me: The Keyshawn Johnson Story

Peter Kiernan has written the book that needed to be written―and read―right now. His documentation of how America’s middle class rose and is now teetering is the wake-up call this country needs to hear. His incisive storytelling, trenchant observations and clear-eyed solutions make this a must read

Geoffrey Canada, President, Harlem Children’s Zone

Kiernan (Becoming China's Bitch) chronicles, in highly entertaining fashion, the American middle class's rise over the course of the 20th century, as well as its currently imperiled state. Observing that "80% of the world's purchasing power, 92% of the world's economic growth, and 95% of the world's consumers" are now outside the U.S., Kiernan asks whether Americans are in danger of being left behind. Each chapter begins with the story of a person who participated, and in some cases played a key part, in the progress of the American middle class, from the potato magnate who made McDonald's possible, to Betty Friedan and her contribution to unleashing the economic potential of American women. The stories touch on many topics, including the post-WWII housing boom, the economic impacts of racism, the culture war's origins in the late 1960s, and Reaganomics. The book would have benefited from less grandiose prose—at one point, Kiernan pronounces his narrative "an unabashed love story about struggle, triumph, and moments of despair." But overall, this is a riveting read that sets out not to draw definite solutions from past successes and failures, but to educate the general readership with storytelling

Publisher's Weekly

"American Mojo Lost and Found: Restoring Our Middle Class Before the World Blows By" comes from an award-winning author who focuses on the problems and potential of returning America's middle class to power, and provides both a history of the middle class's rise and fall and a consideration of the pathways that could return it to power. Surprisingly, he adopts a global perspective in the process which considers middle classes in general and the new forces affecting the middle class in not just America, but the world. Such disparate topics as New York's Robin Hood Foundation, Canada's social issues, the rise of Latinos in America, and monopolists who fight against choice might appear to be stretching the topic, but Kiernan brings all these disparate elements together in a treatise that should be on the shelves of any American economic, history, or social issues collection.

Midwest Book Review

Award-winning author Peter D. Kiernan presents "American Mojo Lost and Found: Restoring Our Middle Class Before the World Blows By," an accessible portrait of the economic troubles confronting America today (particularly with regard to poverty and pressure on the middle class), and recommendations to foster a more prosperous future for everyone. Individual vignettes illuminate Kiernan's salient points, as he discusses how the American middle class have fared through the Nixon, Reagan, and modern eras (not that great), ongoing trends among demographics in the middle class, underemployment as a threat to economic stability, and most importantly, recommendations to turn around economic stagnation and improve upward mobility for all Americans. Particular importance is placed on seizing the global middle class opportunity - by providing for the rising middle class of nations abroad, America can recapture its mojo at home. For example, one suggestion is "Use American brand power... Take brands - not everyday local products, but the platinum brands and killer and misdemeanor apps found in many categories. With them we can both build and drive the worldwide consumer boom." Thoughtful and thought-provoking, "American Mojo Lost and Found" is ultimately an optimistic resource of practical and proactive macroeconomic strategies for the twenty-first century, highly recommended.

Midwest Book Review