"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


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...

Is there still a will to succeed in America? Of course. Do parents want the best education for their children and do our citizens want government to be proactive and long-range in its thinking? We believe most do. Are Americans still capable of pursuing a common purpose?  For our ultimate survival, the answer must be yes. But it will require a clear-headed view of what’s failing and a strong-minded commitment to identifying and making fixes...

On so many fronts, the U.S. seems determined to sit idly by while other nations--even some of the least developed economically--are applying their minds and limited resources to educating their young. At a time when the U.S. seems increasingly unable or unwilling to see how slow-moving and vulnerable it has become, China, India, and a growing number of other countries are boldly positioning themselves for global success. Nations that once longed to catch up with us are now passing us by, in everything from educational achievement to technological mastery. 

The risks of ignorance and inaction are enormous. Twenty-five years ago, a seminal report on U.S. education described a nation at risk. That’s still true, except that the problems are now worse. A Nation at Risk gave hope that the urgency of its call could and would be answered. Yet today the U.S. is a nation adrift, and it’s not certain that we Americans have the will to turn course. We believe that our survival will depend on rediscovering our shared values and common purpose to make the necessary changes. This book will explain why.

< Back to ADRIFT


"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