Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum offer both a wake-up call and a call to collective action.They analyze the four challenges we face — globalization, the revolution in information technology, the nation’s chronic deficits, and our pattern of excessive energy consumption– and spell out what we need to do nowto sustain the American dreamand preserve America’s power in the world. They explain how the end of the Cold War blinded the nation to the need to address these issues seriously, and how China’s educational successes, industrial might, and technological prowess remind us of the ways in which “that used to be us”.They explain how the paralysis of our political system and the erosion of key American values have made it impossible for us to carry out the policies the country urgently needs.
And yet Friedman and Mandelbaum believe that the recovery of American greatness is withinreach. They show how America’s history, when properly understood, offers a five-part formula for prosperity that will enable us to cope successfully with the challenges we face.They offer vivid profiles of individuals who have not lost sight of the American habits of bold thought and dramatic action. They propose a clear way out of the trap into which the country has fallen, a way that includes the rediscoveryof some of our most vital traditions and the creation of a new third party movement to galvanize the country.