The recent Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, author of Excellence and Self-Renewal, collects here pieces drafted ""in the interstices of action"" which therefore reflect his concerns, also draws from his books when they say what he wishes to say best, about America and her people. ""I believe we are now in a situation in which the gravest consequences for this nation will ensue if we fail to act decisively on the problems of the cities, poverty and discrimination,"" he says, goes on to point out the difference between ""good"" and ""bad"" problems which confront us as a society. He writes of problem solving and problem seekers, the sophisticated dropout, the life and death of institutions, the role of schools and colleges in education, the university and government; cuts across party and class lines to promote a new relationship between federal, state and local authorities and responsible leadership at every level of action; points out to radicals of the left and right that the middle-of-the-road American is about ready for a ""Revolt of Common Sense."" He skewers specialization, rigidity, whatever fails to further the development of the individual, the institution, the nation. An eminently sane, humane approach to the life of the Great Society (an expression he does not use) which should attract across-the-board progressives, encourage others to expand their conceptions, and to contribute actively to the life of America.