A conversation with Gus Speth
Q: You have previously authored two award-winning books with Yale University Press. How do you see America the Possible in relation to the other two?
A: I see them as a progression, a trilogy perhaps, each digging deeper into what I think of as the American Crisis. When huge problems emerge across a wide front, such as we have in America, it cannot be for small reasons. What we have is system failure. Our current system of political economy is not delivering good results socially, economically, environmentally, or politically. That's America's real crisis. America the Possible takes all this head on; it is the broadest in scope and boldest in ambition of the three books.
Q: How so?
A: The book is brutally honest about the full range of major challenges America now faces, not just the environmental ones. It explains how we got ourselves into this sea of troubles and presents the specific changes now needed to get us out. Importantly, it describes a vision of America the Possible, an attractive yet plausible future that is still within our power to realize. And it sets out how system change can come to America.
Q: What should the first steps toward America the Possible be?
A: The truly good news is that important steps are already being taken. Look across America and one sees local communities reclaiming themselves, new forms of corporate ownership and management, families adopting new lifestyles, and much more. The future is being built from the bottom up. The next big step, which I discuss in Part IV of the book, is for progressives of all stripes to come together to forge a movement demanding prodemocracy political reforms. We've got to save our democracy from creeping corporatocracy and plutocracy, and we've got to do it soon.
This book is a "must read" for all who think we can do better.
Speth lays out the environmental, economic, and political challenges we face as a nation and does an excellent job of pointing to possible solutions.
My main problem is that Gus Speth hyper-focuses on the far left ideals and priorities without ever trying to appeal to the right wing ideals.
What is wrong with the American economic system? This book makes a clear and accurate diagnosis and then spells out the remedy. Read morePublished 9 months ago by James Markway
It is a very idealistic book. It would be wonderful if these ideas could be implemented. Given the entrenched power of the likes of the Koch Brothers and their ilk, "America... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Vera Cousins
Speth lays out the environmental, economic, and political challenges we face as a nation and does an excellent job of pointing to possible solutions.Published 18 months ago by Paul J. Jacobs
A quick tutorial of what is wrong with the world, our country, our form of politics and election of officials, the money system in general, large corporations etc... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Hubstermeister
I apologize in advance for a less-than-thorough, grab bag analysis, but here goes:
What strikes me most about this book is its simply breathtaking naiveté about... Read more
If there is one recent book American policy makers, from the President down, should read, it is James Gustave Speth's America the Possible. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Philip B Shabecoff
In the midst of all the crises and challenges we face, Gus Speth is a voice of hope and reason.Published 22 months ago by Marjorie Lee
I agree with everything the author writes. But, I do wish someone would come up with some explicit, detailed suggestions of exactly how the 99% could change the status quo. Read morePublished 23 months ago by William T. Conte, Jr.
Speth's "America the Possible" should have a question mark in the title. There is some hope that we can save the country and the world from serious war or an ecological armageddon. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Thomas Spring