"ADRIFT is a wake-up call for Congress and President Obama."

Sen. Ernest (Fritz) Hollings

 Former U.S. Senator for South Carolina

"...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 Harris and Steven Beschloss do a systematic and convincing job of showing how Americans can make these changes--and what will happen if we don't."

James Fallows

National correspondent for The Atlantic


Check out Adrift op-eds in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Arizona Republic, quotes in Christian Science Monitor and Beschloss Q&A on Adrift for Haverford College, and Beschloss interview on "Here and Now," NPR station KJZZ. You  also can find Beschloss essays from the Sunday Viewpoints of the Arizona Republic on American empireAmerican exceptionalism, urban dynamism and voter distrust.

Our country is facing hard times and we have to ask a hard question: Are our best days ahead of us or are they past? Many of our nation's schools are struggling with teaching our children. Cities and states are struggling with painful choices caused by budget deficits. The national debt is growing while we work to recover from the recession. National politicians seem locked in partisan wars while the public is becoming more pessimistic about the economy. We have arrived at a moment, a crossroads, that calls us to decide what kind of country we are going to be.

This should be the time for the best of us to emerge. Yet rather than roll up our sleeves and engage in the hard work and sacrifice required to fix our problems, we seem to be letting our differences divide us and allowing our common purpose to be forgotten or ignored. While the global competition for excellence and pre-eminence intensifies, our country drifts, hampered by this destructive stalemate.

I don't believe this troubled path is inevitable, an unstoppable reality that requires us all to merely accept a future of lowered expectations. Quite the contrary.  I believe we are capable of taking a hard look at what ails us, figure out how it happened, engage in an adult conversation about what we should do about it, and then get down to business re-establishing our national greatness.

That's why I was pleased to be asked by Bill Harris and Steven Beschloss to write a foreword for their book. They have engaged in serious reflection, gathered together many of the central threads that explain our current challenges, and created a compelling and inspiring narrative that should be at the center of a national conversation about our nation's future. The publication of Adrift can help reset our course. It couldn't be more important or more timely.

Brief Excerpts

The Sputnik Moment (from Chapter One)

It was a tiny speck in the black night sky, 560 miles from earth and traveling at a speed of 18,000 miles an hour. Sputnik 1, a shiny aluminum sphere about twice the size of a basketball and weighing just 184 pounds, rocketed into space on October 4, 1957. Launched by the Soviets, the silver satellite with four radio antennae ushered in the Space Age with a simple message: beep,beep, beep.

Read more

A Matter of Purpose (from the preface)

America is at a precipice. Sitting still is not an option. Our problems, while not hopeless, are urgent. And they require rediscovering something fundamental that we have lost: our shared sense of purpose...


Read more


"A tour-de-force of the economic and social changes the U.S. is facing and a call to action."

Erich Bloch

Member, The Advisory Group at Huron, and former Director of the National Science Foundation

"A brilliant and insightful analysis of America's troubles and how to get the US back on course."

Greg Mortenson

Author of Three Cups of Tea and Stones into Schools


"ADRIFT is a most compelling read of how and why the USA is slipping from the top, and one that offers a comprehensive national formula to change course. A must read for everyone who wants the best future for their children and grandchildren."

John F. Regni

Lt. General USAF (retired), former Superintendent, U.S. Air Force Academy


"This is a book that is just right for this time. William Harris and Steven 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 "C's" -- communication, collaboration, cooperation and, above all else, commitment to moving our country forward. Now."

Sue Clark-Johnson


Executive Director, Morrison Institute for Public Policy, and former President, Gannett Co. Inc., US Publishing Division


"[T]he U.S. 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.  Bill Harris and Steven Beschloss describe our predica- ment and offer solutions.  Recommended reading for policymakers and concerned Americans alike." 

Michael M. Crow

President, Arizona State University

"ADRIFT is an astute, well-reasoned look at how America went off course and provides the thoughtful, keen road map the national security establishment needs to assure the nation's safety and prosperity."

Cody Monk

Professor of strategic intelligence and cyber affairs, National Defense Intelligence College


Media Room

For interviews, review copies or other media requests, contact:

Publicist Meghan Quinn, Prometheus Books, 716-691-0133, ext. 225, mquinn@prometheusbooks.com.

We've also made available the following materials as part of our media kit:

Adrift Cover

Adritt Release--6.23.11

Adrift Table of Contents

Steven Beschloss photo

William Harris photo