Entrepreneurship, to George Gilder, is more than an economic activity. It is a way of life. The same spirit of enterprise--the impulse to freedom and self-governance--that animates people to originate bold new products and services, to devote the fruits of their talents, energies, and acumen to improving the material well-being of their fellows, also guides their engagement in the other workings of society. Among the images that fill this book, perhaps none is more inspiring than the group portrait of the Cuban immigrants in Miami, who in barely thirty years have created one of America's showplaces--an economically innovative, civically vibrant community in their new homeland. It is in the hope of stimulating citizens across America to awaken their own spirit of enterprise that we proudly publish this book.
In a sense, the ideas Gilder explores are not new. Drawn from the wisdom of intrepid and self-reliant people throughout history, much of what he argues for in these pages was distilled in the economics of Adam Smith and in the political thought of the Founding Fathers. But in an age when Americans have become alienated from unresponsive public and private institutions, entrepreneurial principles suggest how men and women, as individuals and within their communities, can devise answers to the critical challenges they face: the decaying social fabric, environmental hazards, health and safety concerns, as well as threats to prosperity.
With the publication of Recapturing the Spirit of Enterprise, and of the new edition of Gilder classic Wealth and Poverty that will follow it, ICS continues its program to promote the entre-