The Power of Progress
The Power of Progress
How America's Progressives Can (Once Again) Save Our Economy, Our Climate, and Our Country
Crown, Hardcover, 9780307382559, 256pp.
Publication Date: August 19, 2008
AMERICA IS FACING UNPRECEDENTED CHAL LENGES—new threats to our economic well-being, our environment, and our security. The American people are looking for real answers; the next president must mobilize our government and our citizens in ways that no president has done since FDR. America needs the power of progress . . . once again.
At the turn of the twentieth century, the American Dream was beginning to dim in a nation riven by growing inequalities in wealth and run by a powerful network of privileged industrialists and their political allies. But that era also gave birth to a renaissance in American political thought that forever changed our nation.
At a time when conservative ideology served as an excuse for the accumulation of wealth and privilege, the original Progressive movement created a new political order built on America’s basic principles—justice and equality for all, economic opportunity, and a commitment to the common good.
The lives of all Americans have been profoundly improved by the achievements of progressive reformers, from the eight-hour workday and voting rights to our victory in the Cold War and the economic gains middle-class Americans enjoyed under our most recent progressive president, Bill Clinton. Today’s challenges demand a second great Progressive era. America needs an economy in which workers at every income level share in our riches; a climate policy that stops global warming and ends our addiction to fossil fuels; and American leadership in the global fight against terrorism, nuclear proliferation, and poverty.
In The Power of Progress, John Podesta—former Clinton chief of staff—along with his colleague, John Halpin, explains how progressive values changed America in the wake of the Gilded Age and how these values will reshape America after the Bush presidency. Tapping the spirit of great progressive leaders from Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt to Martin Luther King Jr., The Power of Progress provides the road map toward a government responsive to the needs of its citizens; one that is focused on our generation’s greatest challenges: combating global warming, growing our economy and expanding the middle class, and meeting America’s twenty-first-century security challenges.
JOHN PODESTA was the White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton from 1998 until 2001. He is currently president and chief executive officer of the Center for American Progress, a Washington, D.C.–based research and educational institute founded in 2003. Podesta is also a visiting professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center.
“John Podesta was indispensable to the work we did during my administration, on the economy, on the environment and in making the government more responsive and accountable to its citizens. Now, he’s painting on a much larger canvass, drawing on our work together, his own family’s immigrant story and his role as president of America’s most effective progressive think tank to take on the three monumental challenges America faces today: keeping our nation secure, ending global warming, and putting the American dream back within reach of our middle class. What he did for our presidency, he has now done for our country by crafting an inspiring blend of scholarship, personal history and patriotism and offering us a powerful approach to American progress at a time of global challenge.”
—President Bill Clinton
“The Power of Progress teaches us how to apply the philosophy that produced the American Dream in the 20th century to the big challenges of the 21st. John Podesta, a great public servant and political strategist, has written a wonderful book that will help Americans get our future back.”
—Governor Janet Napolitano
“John Podesta is somehow able to merge the intellectual curiosity of a law school professor (which he is) with the political savvy of a Chicago ward heeler (which he could have become) to give us a valuable progressive blueprint for addressing the most profound economic, environmental, and security challenges of our times.”
—Elena Kagan, Dean of Harvard Law School
“John Podesta has provided an extraordinary vision of progressive solutions for restoring America’s greatness. It is must read for our next President and for the rest of us.”
—Senator Tom Daschle
“Tolerance and compassion, spirited public service, opportunity for all, support of the common good. These are the values and virtues The Power of Progress celebrates. Building on the 20th century’s vision of the American Dream, Podesta shows how the roots of the progressive movement can re-grow America’s influence in the world and secure its prosperity in the 21st century.”
—Wade Henderson, President of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights