What Others are Saying

 Reviews of Ron Haskins and Isabel Sawhill’s 

Creating an Opportunity Society


“This book presents a bold and thoughtful vision of how to change American economic and social policy to promote a more productive and less unequal society. It synthesizes the best research on political economy and the life cycle of skill formation in crafting its recommendations. While some readers will disagree with the authors about the details of some of their proposals, all readers will agree that the book is breathtaking in its scope and deeply thought-provoking. It is a major contribution to the policy debate.”

James J. Heckman

Professor of Economics

University of Chicago

Nobel Laureate, Economics (2000)


“Two of America’s shrewdest social policy thinkers have produced a comprehensive and timely look at an increasingly urgent problem: expanding the opportunity for all Americans to get ahead in this turbulent economy. Their answers will challenge left and right alike-but could also provide a path for each to converge on an innovative agenda that both demands responsibility from all Americans, and rewards it. Anyone seeking to understand how average Americans navigate the economy, and how we might help them keep their heads further above water, will find this book rewarding.”

Ron Brownstein

Political Director

Atlantic Media Company


“Haskins and Sawhill have developed a set of innovative and forward thinking ideas for navigating toward the next generation of social policy.  As localities across the nation tackle poverty and implement data-driven solutions, there could not be a more competent duo offering pragmatic, interesting and creative ideas to advance our shared goal of creating opportunity for all.”

Linda I. Gibbs

New York City Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services


“America became great as the land of opportunity for all. But today we’re in grave danger of ceasing to be a place where people born poor can rise above their circumstances and realize the American dream. This book brilliantly documents why this has happened and what must be done to restore opportunity for all. For individuals, this involves personal responsibility – keeping families together, staying in school, and working hard. But this book also makes it clear that it will take a helping hand from government to provide our most vulnerable citizens, especially the children, with some of the supports they need. At America’s Promise Alliance, we call those supports the 5 Promises. Investing in our children is critically important. They are the only future we have. I encourage all policy-makers and civic leaders to read this thought-provoking book.”

Alma J. Powell


America’s Promise Alliance


“Creating an Opportunity Society is a blueprint for a better American future. Ron Haskins and Isabel Sawhill, two of America’s most celebrated policy innovators, outline a series of effective and affordable policies designed to make our economy work for all Americans. Apart from fighting poverty, their program of economic inclusion is designed to spark the broad-based, bottom-up growth that we badly need.”

Reihan Salam

Co-Author, Grand New Party


“Among recent reappraisals of national social policy, Creating an Opportunity Society stands out. Haskins and Sawhill write with unusual clarity and authority. They are widely respected experts on programs affecting children and families, and they also have served in government at the highest levels. Their proposals are well-judged, and they are set within an interpretation of opportunity in America that is itself an important contribution. The authors even fund their recommendations by suggested budgetary changes. This is a deeply responsible book. As soon as the recession and health care debates are past, the Obama Administration and Congress can have no more urgent task than to address these proposals.”

Lawrence M. Mead
Professor of Politics and Public Policy
New York University

%d bloggers like this: