Part of the fun of writing a book is designing your layout. We know we want to write about entitlements and taxes, for example, but how do you make that a compelling narrative? I’ve had this problem when explaining what my forthcoming book is about. The title is Bleeding Talent (to be published by Palgrave officially on December 11, 2012, but I am telling people it is 12.12.12 because that just sounds so much better), and I find myself tongue-tied describing the book in a way that might actually increase sales. “It’s about military personnel economics” doesn’t seem to get people nearly as excited as they should be. Yawn.
Anyway, on BALANCE, we are using a convention of opening chapter quotations. Niall Ferguson used these to great effect in Colossus. I’m sure there is a professional lingo for that in the book world. Here is one that we found and are pegging for the closing chapter:
“The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.”
― George Washington, First Inaugural Address (April 30, 1798)
I also found a line by Neal Stephenson that is just fantastic — won’t reveal it here, but it is not the one about the four things Americans will still be good at in the next century. I am curious what great quotes you would recommend for a book about economic imbalance? How about this one?
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
— William Butler Yeats, The Second Coming, 1919