That Used To Be US

October 6th, 2011

Some say that America's best days are behind it. That Americans have become to resistant to change, that the ethos of personal sacrifice that helped grow our nation, has become a thing of the past, that we are at an inflection point in which the values and tools of 21st century success belong to others. In short, that the American century is over.

However, the facts can be marshaled to make a very different case. A case that says that the same values and tools that made us great; immigration, creative destruction, quality infrastructure and world class education, are exactly the tools we need for the future. We don’t need new tools, we simply have to reinvent and reinvigorate the old ones to work for a new globalized, hyper-connected century.

This is the underlying idea behind a NY Times columnist Tom Friedman and Johns Hopkins Professor Michael Mandelbaum's new book That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back. My conversation with Michael Mandelbaum: