Betting on America: Why the U.S. Can Be Stronger after September 11

Overview

"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 ...

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Overview

"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-9-11and 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 stro 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.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Cortada (an executive at IBM) and Wakin (communications, Fordham U.) provide the inevitable business management literature response to the September 11th crimes, suggesting that business (and the country) can "leverage" the consequent changes. Among the pieces of advice proffered is to take advantage of the anthrax and 9-11 attacks to promote on-line banking. Just as reactionary fear mongering is used to promote business strategy, business strategy is used as a blueprint for national security policy. For example, it is suggested that the government apply business models for gathering information on customers to gathering information on citizens. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780130460783
  • Publisher: Pearson Education
  • Publication date: 4/2/2002
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.18 (w) x 9.36 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface.
1. The Bumpy Road To A New Normalcy.
Technology: The Great Facilitator. Terrorism And Technology. The Rise Of Globalization. The Problems Of Globalization. The Upside Of Globalization. Empowerment Of The Individual. 9-11 And Arab-American Relations. A Breeding Ground For Terrorists.

2. Feeling Our Way.
Foundations Of Everyday Life. Predictability. Trust. Security-Feeling At Home. How Things Changed. Unpredictability. Suspicion. Insecurity And After.

3. Renewing Our Ways Of Thinking.
Weighing The Odds. Figuring Out A Response. The Challenge Of Knowing Thyself. Pessimism Versus Optimism. Looking To The Future.

4. Finding Our Way At Work.
What The New Normalcy Means For Business. The Changing Nature Of Work. Decentralization Of Work. The New Role Of Government. New Opportunities And Lost Causes.

5. Leveraging America's Resources.
A Nation Of Joiners. National Security And Homeland Defense. Getting It All Together. What To Do About Terrorists.

6. Forward On The Economic Front.
A Personal Economic Agenda. Preserving And Enhancing The Nation's Economy. Work, Business, And National Wealth.

7. From Our Leaders.
Leading The Way. A Business Case. A Leadership Inventory.

8. A National And Personal Agenda.
Fear Conquered And Things To Do. The Role Of Information And Physical Security. An Age Of Decency? An American Time, Some Final Thoughts.

Index.
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Preface

PREFACE

For a generation, 911 served a special purpose for Americans as the telephone number we call to report a fire, to get an ambulance, to report a crime in progress, to get help in an emergency. As all Americans can never forget, September 11, 2001 became the day 911 took on historic meaning, when thousands of people were killed in a series of terrorist-initiated events that were breathtaking in scope: destruction of both 110-story towers at the World Trade Center in New York, a portion of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and the crash of an airliner in Pennsylvania. Soon, the United States and more than 100 other nations quickly mobilized an international response to neutralize terrorism. 911 became 9-11 for the entire world.

Globalized terrorism dramatized the global trends and developments that were already changing our world. All Americans felt (and were) both involved and endangered, realizing that there are no sidelines in the global environment created by technology. The two oceans that once felt like America's gigantic security blankets were shredded as we came face to face with the reality of an anyone, anytime, anywhere world-for evil, as well as for good.

Suddenly shocked into uncertainty, we reacted by feeling that nothing is as it was before. The nation and its people felt present shock and future fear, wondering what would happen next, feeling that anything could. In perspective, history sends a more complicated message. While much changes when a historic event overwhelms us, it is time to look much further and deeper, and to examine the relentless pace of change in our time. We know from prior experience that major events acceleratecertain trends, cut off others, and speed up and slow down society-wide developments. In the 9-11 aftermath, what emerges is both predictable and unpredictable (the unintended consequences we so often hear about). Nations are forced to initiate changes long overdue and neglected. New circumstances bring to the fore opportunities that were otherwise dormant. As individuals, we are challenged to learn, to understand, to grow, and to rediscover our responsibilities-as well as to grieve.

This book examines the 9-11 trauma for trends and consequences for us as individuals and as a nation, and at exploring ways to confront, cope, and leverage these changes. Beyond the 9-11 trauma, we have lives to lead, duties to fulfill, work to do. We propose that Americans respond with a forward-looking approach. To do that, we must move beyond the uncertainty created by events that shake our world. To do that requires all of us to understand the changes already underway in our post-millennium lives, analyze the costs and benefits we are paying, and identify ways in which opportunities and change intersect. In short, we agree with the view that America-and the world at large-is confronting a new normalcy, one underway for at least two decades, but which has become urgently obvious as a result of 9-11. This new normalcy is neither simple to explain nor easy to adjust to or possible to avoid. We all must deal with it.

We come to this task with the view that history provides lessons and reminders from the past on what we face. Nor is history the only teacher. Social scientists have their insights, business managements their methods and responses, governments their policies, and technology its built-in imperatives. Together, they provide a holistic view of the changes underway, suggest where our nation may be headed, and show how individuals and organizations can cope and eventually thrive. While 9-11 will haunt eyewitnesses and TV viewers for the rest of their lives, it does not stand alone in history's catalog of horrors. As one 20th-century example, Britons alive today have childhood memories of the aerial devastation visited upon London in the early months of World War II. In our own history, the British invaded Washington, D.C. and destroyed the White House. During almost the entire Civil War of 1861-1865, residents of the capital feared invasion and destruction.

Our underlying premise is that we Americans can cope with what we are facing, but it will take effort, adjustments, and a proactive approach toward changes across the board. Not only will we recover and go forward, we will find opportunities in a changed world by drawing on individual, group, national, and governmental resources and values. Understanding what is happening and identifying what can and needs to be done is part of the coping process. As one of the founders of what eventually became General Motors, Charles F. Kettering pointed out, "The world hates changes, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress."

Over the years, your authors have observed how change occurs in American society in facing social issues and business challenges. One of us is a professor at a major university, the other an executive at a major corporation. We have spent decades analyzing and explaining trends and how to leverage them, ranging from the social and the political to the managerial and economic. As we observed the reactions of Americans, the media, and government officials around the world in the weeks following 9-11, it became clear to us that perspective and presentation of a go-forward approach were called for. Our combined experience suggests that the important challenge is to look behind 9-11 to confront the ways in which today's events and trends fit into a large mosaic, then to identify what we can do as individuals and as a nation.

The analysis and recommendations in this book are the product of a collaboration aimed at sorting out the rush of events. We recognize that there are many other blueprints to consider and realize that others will put forth theirs. What matters is the need to respond and to contribute to the process of confronting the new normalcy. The aggregate of thoughts and actions are a sign of American's strength and a potential source of workable responses. In terms of the national will to prevail against its enemies, every call to Americans to renew their lives and to resolve to fight terror strengthens our resolve. Nothing could be more American.

As to the book's origins, what has happened is so critical and potentially far-reaching that we felt impelled to put aside other writing projects to develop and put forth a constructive, rational perspective as part of moving forward. Our publisher and editor, Tim Moore at Prentice Hall, turned to his medium-publishing-and enlisted us in this project, earning our gratitude for his editorial support and guidance. The opinions stated in this book are, of course, ours, as is responsibility for its deficiencies, not Fordham University, IBM, or Tim Moore and Prentice Hall. We also want to thank the production team at Prentice Hall that worked so efficiently to bring this book to you in timely fashion.

James W. Cortada
Edward Wakin

Read More Show Less

Introduction

PREFACE

For a generation, 911 served a special purpose for Americans as the telephone number we call to report a fire, to get an ambulance, to report a crime in progress, to get help in an emergency. As all Americans can never forget, September 11, 2001 became the day 911 took on historic meaning, when thousands of people were killed in a series of terrorist-initiated events that were breathtaking in scope: destruction of both 110-story towers at the World Trade Center in New York, a portion of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and the crash of an airliner in Pennsylvania. Soon, the United States and more than 100 other nations quickly mobilized an international response to neutralize terrorism. 911 became 9-11 for the entire world.

Globalized terrorism dramatized the global trends and developments that were already changing our world. All Americans felt (and were) both involved and endangered, realizing that there are no sidelines in the global environment created by technology. The two oceans that once felt like America's gigantic security blankets were shredded as we came face to face with the reality of an anyone, anytime, anywhere world-for evil, as well as for good.

Suddenly shocked into uncertainty, we reacted by feeling that nothing is as it was before. The nation and its people felt present shock and future fear, wondering what would happen next, feeling that anything could. In perspective, history sends a more complicated message. While much changes when a historic event overwhelms us, it is time to look much further and deeper, and to examine the relentless pace of change in our time. We know from prior experience that major eventsaccelerate certain trends, cut off others, and speed up and slow down society-wide developments. In the 9-11 aftermath, what emerges is both predictable and unpredictable (the unintended consequences we so often hear about). Nations are forced to initiate changes long overdue and neglected. New circumstances bring to the fore opportunities that were otherwise dormant. As individuals, we are challenged to learn, to understand, to grow, and to rediscover our responsibilities-as well as to grieve.

This book examines the 9-11 trauma for trends and consequences for us as individuals and as a nation, and at exploring ways to confront, cope, and leverage these changes. Beyond the 9-11 trauma, we have lives to lead, duties to fulfill, work to do. We propose that Americans respond with a forward-looking approach. To do that, we must move beyond the uncertainty created by events that shake our world. To do that requires all of us to understand the changes already underway in our post-millennium lives, analyze the costs and benefits we are paying, and identify ways in which opportunities and change intersect. In short, we agree with the view that America-and the world at large-is confronting a new normalcy, one underway for at least two decades, but which has become urgently obvious as a result of 9-11. This new normalcy is neither simple to explain nor easy to adjust to or possible to avoid. We all must deal with it.

We come to this task with the view that history provides lessons and reminders from the past on what we face. Nor is history the only teacher. Social scientists have their insights, business managements their methods and responses, governments their policies, and technology its built-in imperatives. Together, they provide a holistic view of the changes underway, suggest where our nation may be headed, and show how individuals and organizations can cope and eventually thrive. While 9-11 will haunt eyewitnesses and TV viewers for the rest of their lives, it does not stand alone in history's catalog of horrors. As one 20th-century example, Britons alive today have childhood memories of the aerial devastation visited upon London in the early months of World War II. In our own history, the British invaded Washington, D.C. and destroyed the White House. During almost the entire Civil War of 1861-1865, residents of the capital feared invasion and destruction.

Our underlying premise is that we Americans can cope with what we are facing, but it will take effort, adjustments, and a proactive approach toward changes across the board. Not only will we recover and go forward, we will find opportunities in a changed world by drawing on individual, group, national, and governmental resources and values. Understanding what is happening and identifying what can and needs to be done is part of the coping process. As one of the founders of what eventually became General Motors, Charles F. Kettering pointed out, "The world hates changes, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress."

Over the years, your authors have observed how change occurs in American society in facing social issues and business challenges. One of us is a professor at a major university, the other an executive at a major corporation. We have spent decades analyzing and explaining trends and how to leverage them, ranging from the social and the political to the managerial and economic. As we observed the reactions of Americans, the media, and government officials around the world in the weeks following 9-11, it became clear to us that perspective and presentation of a go-forward approach were called for. Our combined experience suggests that the important challenge is to look behind 9-11 to confront the ways in which today's events and trends fit into a large mosaic, then to identify what we can do as individuals and as a nation.

The analysis and recommendations in this book are the product of a collaboration aimed at sorting out the rush of events. We recognize that there are many other blueprints to consider and realize that others will put forth theirs. What matters is the need to respond and to contribute to the process of confronting the new normalcy. The aggregate of thoughts and actions are a sign of American's strength and a potential source of workable responses. In terms of the national will to prevail against its enemies, every call to Americans to renew their lives and to resolve to fight terror strengthens our resolve. Nothing could be more American.

As to the book's origins, what has happened is so critical and potentially far-reaching that we felt impelled to put aside other writing projects to develop and put forth a constructive, rational perspective as part of moving forward. Our publisher and editor, Tim Moore at Prentice Hall, turned to his medium-publishing-and enlisted us in this project, earning our gratitude for his editorial support and guidance. The opinions stated in this book are, of course, ours, as is responsibility for its deficiencies, not Fordham University, IBM, or Tim Moore and Prentice Hall. We also want to thank the production team at Prentice Hall that worked so efficiently to bring this book to you in timely fashion.

James W. Cortada
Edward Wakin

Read More Show Less

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