The Reason I Wrote American Reboot

Mar 27, 2022. | By Will Hurd

Will Hurd Writing American Reboot

I’ve snuck into a terrorist training camp to conduct reconnaissance, almost got pulled out of a car and beaten to death by a mob, and my name has been on a ballot for public election eight different times. In all of these situations, I had a feeling of nervousness because I didn’t know the outcome of the situation I was in. I’m experiencing a similar feeling on the eve of my first book American Reboot being released into the wild.

My first boss, in my first overseas assignment as an officer in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), asked me before I conducted my first operation, “Are you nervous?”

I replied, “Yes sir, very.”

“Good.” He said. “The day you stop being nervous before you kick off on an op is the day you need to stop doing this job. You’re nervous because what you are about to do is really important. It matters.” He then slapped me on the back and issued the directive that is a common directive issued throughout the CIA before an officer begins an operation, “Don’t f*ck up.” 

“The day you stop being nervous before you kick off on an op is the day you need to stop doing this job.”

I wrote American Reboot because we are in a political, cultural and international moment in time when it is almost impossible to get big things done. I’m part of the 72 percent of Americans who say the country is headed in the wrong direction and we can’t let this continue. I’m worried because during my time in the back alleys of foreign countries, the halls of Congress, and the boardrooms of international businesses I’ve become aware of five generational defining challenges that we must address if we want this century to continue being the American century.

Will Hurd American Reboot

When I’ve talked about writing this book before, I’ve explained how the process began in June of 2019. That’s before a global COVID-19 pandemic, ridiculous political arguments about what we should do about it, and a contentious presidential election that resulted in an attempted insurrection at our capital in Washington, DC. The last draft was completed and sent to the printers in August 2021. That’s before the country was hit with the worst inflation in 40 years, intense culture wars over everything from education to school sports, and the invasion of Ukraine by Russian President Vladimir Putin.  

The world is getting crazier by the day, which makes the principles I outline in the book even more relevant than when I first wrote the words. If we had a foreign policy where our friends loved us and our enemies feared us then there wouldn’t be thousands of innocents dying needlessly in Ukraine. If we had a domestic policy based on empowering people not the government then the cost of things Americans need everyday wouldn’t be rising faster than their wages. 

We don’t have to let things stay on the wrong track. There is a better way.

I’ve learned to not obsess over reviews, but it’s important to be open to criticism and feedback despite so many people seeking their 15 minutes of fame by being nasty, since unfortunately being nasty and mean gets more clicks and eyeballs on your posts. However, early reviews of American Reboot have been good:

  • Gilbert Garcia wrote, “The book is a memoir that also serves as a set of prescriptions for an ailing U.S. political system.”
  • Michael Steele explains, “You want to get this book!”
  • Haley Byrd writes,Hurd is a strong storyteller. He shares compelling memories of growing up in an interracial family in Texas, vivid accounts from his nine years as a CIA officer, and behind-the-scenes details of his attempts to overcome Congress’ top-down legislative process,” and
  • General William McRaven writes, “Funny, thoughtful, brutally honest.”

Even folks who don’t agree that things can get better give approval of the logic I use in the book. The American book review magazine Kirkus has said, “Hurd’s plea for a kinder, gentler GOP is well reasoned but quixotic given the party’s current rabidity.” I appreciate the reviewer’s perspective, but I respectfully disagree. 

We don’t have to let things stay on the wrong track. There is a better way. As I explain in the first chapter, it’s time for us to get off the ‘X.” This is a lesson we are taught in the CIA and I explain it fully in the book. It basically means we need to stop doing what we are doing and do something different. If you agree, then purchase my book. When you are reading it and come to a point you like or agree with, then share that with your friends. 

The only way we are going to change things is if we work together. So, buy American Reboot so you can learn the plan, arand then let’s start a movement.

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American Reboot:

An Idealist’s Guide to Getting Big Things Done

A clear-eyed, forward-thinking playbook for the country, rooted in timeless ideals of bipartisanship, inclusivity, and democratic values.

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