If one accepts the argument that a decline in American technology is occurring, then one has to know about how America got to where it is today and what the conditions were that made it all possible in order to understand the significance of a decline.
The purpose for this book is to encourage a discussion at the national level regarding the importance of technology-based innovation to the economic health of the United States and regarding the adequacy of current support for research and development. With this purpose in mind, the targeted readers are those who are not necessarily technologists or even technology literate but rather those who perceive that they have a stake in America’s technology capabilities in one way or another. Certainly, technologists should have an inherent interest in the issues addressed in this book. Specifically targeted readers include managers and workers of both hightech companies and companies that depend on technology in their products, services, or processes for a competitive advantage. The targeted readers also include the decision makers and their supporting staffs in Government. Community leaders, who consider the American standard of living important, comprise an important segment of the targeted readership. The prospective reader is anyone who has an interest in seeing that the United States remains the leading economic nation in the world. l would hope a few of those who largely disagree with the goals and arguments of the author would also read the book so as to contribute to a national discussion on American technology—where we have been, where we are, and where we should go.
A career spent in the world of advanced technology serves as a basis for the observations and the arguments presented herein. This fortunate experience provided the opportunity to participate in and witness close up the development of technologies and products that today dominate our lives—primarily communications and information technologies. This first hand experience shapes the arguments that are central to the book and supply some of the examples that illustrate the discussion.