Michael Spence spent a hitch as a junior naval officer aboard the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67), then returned to Seattle, where he spent thirty years driving public-transit buses in the Seattle area. He has three poetry collections: The Spine (Purdue University Press, 1087), Adam Chooses (Rose Alley Press, 1998), and Crush Depth (Truman State University Press, 2009). The Bus Driver’s Threnody was a finalist for The New Criterion Poetry Prize. In 1990, Spence was awarded a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and he has received half a dozen nominations for a Pushcart Prize. His work has appeared in many magazines, including The American Scholar, The Chariton Review, The Gettysburg Review, The Hopkins Review, The Hudson Review, Literary Imagination, Measure, The New Criterion, The New Republic, The North American Review, Poetry, Poetry Northeast, The Sewanee Review, The Southern Review, Tampa Review, Tar River Poetry, and The Yale Review.
With the British Industrial Revolution, part of the world's population started to experience extraordinary economic growth—leading to enormous gaps in wealth and living standards between the industrialized West and the rest of the world. This pattern of divergence reversed after World War II, and now we are midway through a century of high and accelerating growth in the developing world and a new convergence with the advanced countries—a trend that is set to reshape the world.
Michael Spence, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, explains what happened to cause this dramatic shift in the prospects of the five billion people who live in developing countries. The growth rates are extraordinary, and continuing them presents unprecedented challenges in governance, international coordination, and ecological sustainability. The implications for those living in the advanced countries are great but little understood.
Spence clearly and boldly describes what's at stake for all of us as he looks ahead to how the global economy will develop over the next fifty years. The Next Convergence is certain to spark a heated debate how best to move forward in the post-crisis period and reset the balance between national and international economic interests, and short-term fixes and long-term sustainability.