FOREWORD BY GOVERNOR BILL RICHARDSON OF NEW MEXICO
“Compared with the rest of the world’s, America’s fundamental problems are small and should be easy to solve. But compared with other times in our history, there is now more reason to wonder whether America can take the steps that would lead it back toward a path of innovation, opportunity, solvency, and promise. William C. Harris and Steven C. Beschloss do a systematic and convincing job of showing how Americans can make these changes—and what will happen if we don’t.”
National correspondent for the Atlantic
“A tour de force of the economic and social changes the United States is facing and a call to action.”
Member of the Advisory Group at Huron,
former director of the National Science Foundation, and former vice president of IBM
“This is a book that is just right for this time. Harris and Beschloss have given the clarion call for urgency in beginning the national conversation. They convinced me that our nation’s survival—as we know it—is imminently at stake. They lay out the case for the critical four Cs—communication, collaboration, cooperation, and, above all else, commitment to moving our country forward. Now.”
Executive director of the Morrison Institute for Public Policy/ASU
and former president of Gannett Co. Inc., US Publishing Division
“Adrift is a wake-up call for Congress and President Obama.”
—Senator Ernest (Fritz) Hollings
Former US senator for South Carolina
“Adrift is a most compelling read of how and why the United States is slipping from the top, and one that offers a comprehensive national formula to change course. A must read for all who want the best future for their children and grandchildren.”
—Lieutenant General John F. Regni, USAF (retired)
Former superintendent of the United States Air Force Academy
“Through some fortuitous confluence of circumstances and productive collaboration between academia, business, industry, and government, the United States has led the world in discovery and innovation to produce a standard of living and quality of life unmatched in scale. Emerging economic powers have studied the model while we have grown complacent. Harris and Beschloss describe our predicament and offer solutions. Recommended reading for policymakers and concerned Americans alike.”
—Michael M. Crow
President of Arizona State University
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?
The threats to our way of life are real, as great as any that earlier generations have struggled against. But instead of working together to face and fix our problems in the grand 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, an unquestioning presumption of preeminence, and a lack of creativity in forming partnerships to spur innovation and global advantage.
In this timely book, veteran scientist and foundation executive William C. Harris and award-winning journalist Steven C. Beschloss not only diagnose the critical systemic weaknesses plaguing America but also lay 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 must be jolted out of our complacency and motivated to bold action and a common purpose.
• Government can work in concert with industry to drive innovation and revitalize our economy.
• 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 our nation’s future.
• Individual cities and states are showing the way forward with creativity and strategic partnerships.
• These and other innovative initiatives can be enacted to create a more secure economic and political future.
Adrift is more than a compelling narrative and a candid look at our current discontent. It is an inspiring call to action on how we as a nation can once again attain our full potential and thrive.
Shipping Weight: 2lbs
William C. Harris is the president and CEO of Science Foundation Arizona. He is the former founding director general of Science Foundation Ireland, was the president and executive director of the Columbia University Biosphere 2 Center in Arizona, was the head of the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate of the National Science Foundation, and has held many executive, research, and academic positions.
Steven C. Beschloss is an award-winning journalist who has written about business, economics, urban affairs, and international affairs for the New York Times, the New Republic, the Chicago Tribune, the 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.