Silber, president of Boston University since 1970, argues that morality, responsibility, and a return to the Kennedy Doctrine will lead to a stronger and safer future. In well-written chapters that deal with heroes, teenagers, academic freedom, poverty, the military, and more, Silber examines the status of America. His chapters do not necessarily seem sequential, but each contributes to his view. The chapters on academic freedom and the nature of a university are enriched by both historical and literary contexts and quotations. (Surprisingly, the only women cited in the book are pregnant, unmarried mothers, and Greek goddesses.) Personal references and anecdotes combined with philosophy and history create a provocative book. At the end Silber does some ``straight shooting'' aimed at the Soviet Union. Here the philosophical tone and well-articulated argument of the majority of the book are replaced by indictment and warning. For the literate reader.-- Nancy E. Zuwiyya, Binghamton City Sch. Dist., N.Y.