Charting Our Course Back to a Great Nation
By William C. Harris
(Prometheus Books, Hardcover, 9781616144036, 258pp.)
Publication Date: August 23, 2011
What has gone wrong for America and what can we do about it? Americans have begun to wonder whether our best days are ahead of us or are now past. Yet at a time of clear urgency and grave need, the nation’s politicians seem increasingly unable to get beyond ideological battles and provide genuine leadership. Is this any way to run a great country? A precarious economy, the risk of global environmental catastrophe, a worldwide struggle over fossil fuel supplies, continuing threats from terrorists—these are just some of the nation’s current challenges, as great as any that earlier generations have struggled against. But instead of working together to face and fix our problems in the historic tradition of America’s can-do spirit, the nation finds itself adrift—dragged down by declining educational levels, a shift to entertainment and consumption over making things, a failure of political leadership, a troubling tolerance of destructive partisanship, an unquestioning assumption of pre-eminence, and a lack of creativity in forming partnerships to spur innovation and global advantage. This timely book not only diagnoses the critical systemic weaknesses plaguing America, but also lays out a workable blueprint for tackling the critical challenges we face today. With the intent of spurring a constructive national dialogue, the authors examine how:
-We Americans can be jolted out of our complacency and motivated to bold action and common purpose.
-Government can work in concert with industry to foster innovation and pursue critical goals.
-We can elevate the quality of our educational system to meet new challenges.
-We must encourage the best and the brightest immigrants from around the world to participate in the nation’s future.
-Individual cities and states are showing the way forward based on local initiatives.
This book is more than a compelling narrative and a candid look at our current malaise. It is an inspiring call to action on how we as a nation can once again attain our full potential and thrive.
William C. Harris (Phoenix, AZ) is the president and CEO of Science Foundation Arizona. He is the former founding Director General of Science Foundation Ireland, president and executive director of the Columbia University Biosphere 2 Center in Arizona, and the head of the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate of the National Science Foundation, among other executive, research, and academic positions.
Steven Beschloss (Scottsdale, AZ) is an award-winning journalist who has written about business, economics, urban affairs, and international affairs for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New Republic, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Parade Magazine, and many others. Chosen Journalist of the Year in Virginia and honored for his writing by the American Society of Journalists and Authors, he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for his seven-part series in the Virginian Pilot examining boom and bust in the southern United States.