Friedman and Mandelbaum offer their version of how the United States has drifted from an innovative and fertile powerhouse into a complacent plodder watching the rest of world pass it by. They suggest there are several critical pillars of the American concept, including high levels of education and democracy. They offer a number of extremely high altitude concepts that we Americans used to strive for, and have drifted away from. But they go on to say they are optimistic that we can regain these principles and return to our former role of leading the world into the future.
The book includes some examples of how some individuals are making success despite the off-course drift of American society. But these examples are few and far from indicative of a movement. In fact, the book offers very little in the way of action that can be taken to correct the “drift” away from a world leadership position. The only specific suggestion offered by the book is the encouragement to create a feasible third party in our political system that impacts the direction of American government and our collective future.
In general, I found this book too ephemeral and lacking in specifics to be effective.