When a top Chinese communist official said to Gary Shapiro, “China up, America down,” Shapiro got angry enough to write “The Comeback: How Innovation Will Restore the American Dream.”

Shapiro is CEO of CEA which owns CES. In case you didn’t follow that, CEA is the Consumer Electronics Association which every year puts on CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas.

The Comeback” is Shapiro’s blueprint for the road ahead. Much of it is familiar, such as cutting government spending.  It’s the details that are interesting, and the history lessons.

Example: In the 1980s, Bell Laboratory researchers developed high-speed “DSL” connections. This was well before the invention of the Web or AOL’s dial-up service. The phone companies saw DSL as serious competition. It took the breakup of the phone monopoly in 1996 to get high-speed Internet connections going. But things didn’t get good overnight. The U.S. ranks 15th in the percentage of households with broadband Interent connections, according to the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, and our average connection speeds are only one-half to one-third as fast as Hong Kong’s and South Korea’s.

“The Comeback,” published by Beaufort Books, is available for $15 from

Comments are closed.