Betting on America: Why the US Can Be Stronger After September 11

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9780130460783: Betting on America: Why the US Can Be Stronger After September 11

Authors examine the long-term impact of 9-11 at every level, from our most private personal relationships to the choices we make as a society, as we seek to respond to new threats without compromising our most cherished values. Shows us how the lessons of history can help us act more wisely, more realistically, and with greater confidence.

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" This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper."

—Franklin D. Roosevelt

An Homage to the Great American Spirit

The immediate, horrible shock of 9-11 is now behind us, even though we remember the shock all too well. But Americans are still asking fundamental questions about what terrorist attacks will mean to their lives, their families, their nation. Betting on America places the events of 9-11 in historical context, offering a thoughtful, realistic, and ultimately optimistic vision of America's new future.

The authors find in American history one lesson, repeated again and again: when we are challenged, we find the strengths and the leadership that enable us to prevail. They remind us of moments like Fort Sumter and Pearl Harbor: the immediate traumas, the national mobilization that followed, and the ways national crises like these challenged the United States to achievements that were previously unimaginable.

Along the way, the authors shed new light on the questions that are agonizing Americans: Will we ever feel safe again? Why did this happen? What do the reasons behind terrorism tell us about how we must respond? And what new and hopeful opportunities can we find in the tragedy of 9-11—both as individuals and as citizens?

* The bumpy road to a new normalcy First, shock; then uncertainty; then an unshakeable determination to move forward * A celebration of the American spirit Unleashing the enormous energy of our restless and bold people * Post-9-11 personal decisions: looking forward with realism, courage, and hope Making wise decisions, taking sound precautions * "Let's roll": leadership with a bias toward action What we need from our leaders now * Leveraging the awesome power of American initiative The lessons of history: empowering Americans to respond personally * The new realities of globalization, decentralization, and technological revolution Recognizing the profound changes that have been developing for years * New technology: problem, solution, neither, or both? Will 9/11 accelerate and deepen the Information Revolution? * The worldly American Bringing the affairs of the world into our daily lives
" As we gather tonight, our nation is at war, our economy is in recession, and the civilized world faces unprecedented dangers. Yet the state of our Union has never been stronger."

President George W. Bush
State of the Union speech,
January 29, 2002

After 9/11: a realistic, optimistic vision of America's future.

  • 9-11 in its long-term perspective: what we must know, what we must do
  • A nation forged in crisis: the positive lessons of American history
  • Unleashing the enormous energy of the American people
  • Resilient new ways of thinking, feeling, and acting in a new age of uncertainty
  • Creative public policies for building a stronger, safer nation—and world
  • Surviving the recession, renewing the economy

The world has changed. Betting on America tells us what the changes mean. It's the first book to bring the perspective of history to the tragic events of 9-11 and to offer a clear path forward—for us as individuals and as a nation.

James W. Cortada and Edward Wakin examine the long-term impact of 9-11 at every level, from our most private personal relationships to the choices we make as a society, as we seek to respond to new threats without compromising our most cherished values.

Time after time, when faced with the most profound challenges, this great nation and people have responded with a unique genius for further greatness. Now that we are called to respond again, Betting on America shows us how the lessons of history can help us act more wisely, more realistically, and with greater confidence. Let's roll.

About the Author:

JAMES W. CORTADA, an Executive at IBM, is a leading authority on the use, management, and history of information technology. His most recent books include 21st Century Business: Managing and Working in the New Digital Economy; Into the Network Age: How IBM and Other Companies Are Getting There Now; The Rise of the Knowledge Worker; and Making the Information Society: Experience, Consequences, and Possibilities (Prentice Hall PTR).

Together with Professor Alfred D. Chandler, Cortada edited A Nation Transformed: How Information Shaped the United States from Colonial Times to the Present. He is Chairman of the Charles Babbage Foundation at the University of Minnesota, and holds a Ph.D. in modern history from Florida State University.

EDWARD WAKIN, professor of communications at Fordham University, has authored or co-authored more than 20 books and scores of magazine articles on social and business issues. His "Professional Edge" column was awarded first place in its category by the American Society of Business Press Editors in 1998. A past winner of the George Polk award "for distinguished achievements in journalism," he has served as education editor for WCBS-TV News and as an editor at The Wall Street Journal and the New York World Telegram. He has earned graduate degrees from Northwestern and Columbia Universities and a Ph.D. from Fordham University in sociology.

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