America at Risk

Threats to Liberal Self-Government in an Age of Uncertainty
Robert Faulkner and Susan Shell, Editors

A group of eminent thinkers and writers address the question, what are some of the greatest dangers facing America today?


America at Risk gathers original essays by a distinguished and bipartisan group of writers and intellectuals to address a question that matters to Americans of every political persuasion: what are some of the greatest dangers facing America today? The answers, which range from dwindling political participation to rising poverty, and religion to empire, add up to a valuable and timely portrait of a particular moment in the history of American ideas.

While the opinions are many, there is a central theme in the book: the corrosion of the liberal constitutional order that has long guided the country at home and abroad. The authors write about the demonstrably important dangers the United States faces while also breaking the usual academic boundaries: there are chapters on the family, religious polarization, immigration, and the economy, as well as on governmental and partisan issues.

America at Risk is required reading for all Americans alarmed about the future of their country.


  • Traci Burch
  • James W. Ceaser
  • Robert Faulkner
  • Niall Ferguson
  • William A. Galston
  • Hugh Heclo
  • Pierre Manent
  • Harvey C. Mansfield
  • Peter Rodriguez
  • Kay Lehman Schlozman
  • Susan Shell
  • Peter Skerry
  • James Q. Wilson
  • Alan Wolfe

Robert Faulkner is Professor of Political Science at Boston College.

Susan Shell is Professor of Political Science at Boston College. 

Visit Robert Faulkner's website
Visit Susan Shell's website

Praise / Awards

  • "America at Risk goes well beyond the usual diagnoses of issues debated in public life like immigration, war, and debt, to consider the Republic's founding principles, and the ways in which they have been displaced by newer thoughts and habits in contemporary America. A critical book for understanding our present condition."
    —Francis Fukuyama, Bernard L. Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy, The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

  • "In the midst of overwrought pundits, irate soccer moms, and outraged bloggers, it is difficult to distinguish genuine dangers from false alarms and special pleading. This book enables us to do so, in a way that helps us to actually think about, not just feel anxious about, threats to those features of American society that are worth cherishing. The authors range in ideology and expertise, but they are uniformly judicious, incisive, and informative. This is a fascinating book about issues that the political system usually ignores or exaggerates."
    —Jennifer L. Hochschild, Henry LaBarre Jayne Professor of Government, and Professor of African and African American Studies, Harvard University

  • "Robert Faulkner and Susan Shell have gathered a distinguished group of scholars to reflect on the causes of the country's present discontents. Probing the deep philosophical and historical roots of America's domestic and international crises, their wide ranging thoughts sound a common theme: the self-evident truths of liberal democracy no longer guide the nation's leaders and citizens. America at Risk illuminates the most important political, social and economic developments of our time."
    —Sidney M. Milkis, White Burkett Miller Professor of Politics, University of Virginia

  • "In this penetrating book, the nation's finest social and political thinkers from across the spectrum take a careful and no-holds-barred look at the dangers facing the American political system. The conclusions are more unsettling than reassuring—but that is because they are honest and real."
    —Norm Ornstein, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute

Look Inside

Copyright © 2009, University of Michigan. All rights reserved.

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Read: Review Law and Politics Book Review | 8/1/2009

Product Details

  • 288 pages.
  • 4 Tables; 5 Figures.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Ebook
  • 2009
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-02253-3

  • PDF: Adobe Digital Editions e-book (DRM Protected)

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