#MACoCon Book Club: If We Can Put a Man on the Moon…

MACo’s Winter Conference, “The Power of Partnership,” on December 6-8, 2017, will feature an exciting new offering: the MACo Book Club.

MACo is excited to launch a “book club” setting with a title that speaks to our ability to work together to accomplish big goals. For our first book club session, we’ve chosen If We Can Put a Man on the Moon…Getting Big Things Done in Government by William Eggers and John O’Leary.

If We Can Put a Man on the Moon CoverFrom the book description: The American people are frustrated with their government–dismayed by a series of high-profile failures (Iraq, Katrina, the financial meltdown) that seems to just keep getting longer. Yet our nation has a proud history of great achievements: victory in World War II, our national highway system, welfare reform, the moon landing. We need more successes like these to reclaim government’s legacy of competence. In “If We Can Put a Man on the Moon,” William Eggers and John O’Leary explain how to do it. At a time of unprecedented challenges, this book, with its abundant examples and hands-on advice, is the essential guide to making our government work better. A must-read for every public official, this book will be of interest to anyone who cares about the future of democracy.

Reviews from GoodReads.com:

  • “The authors use 75 case studies of major public policy initiatives – everything from California’s energy disaster of 2005 to the Boston Public School busing disaster of the 1970s and 80s – and analyze what went wrong and in the case where things went right, how it worked. They formulate a ‘plan for success’… I wish all public servants would read this.”


  • “Eggers and O’Leary have done an excellent job in finding and discussing an analytical framework to judge government policy as success or failure. As the title eludes, it is written out of deep respect for the interconnected roles and responsibilities that our society and economy rely upon, and often take-for-granted, from all levels of government institutions in the U.S. I highly recommend this to public policy (and related) majors, public benefit advocates, government affairs staff in private companies, and civil servants (gov employees).”


  • “Written by two business gurus and published by the Harvard Business Press, this book should be required reading for anyone connected with government and recommended reading for everyone else! It’s a serious book, leavened by tongue-in-check humor. Case histories abound, with some fascinating details of major governmental successes and failures.”

This interactive session will provide participants the opportunity to read a governance-focused book before the conference and discuss it with fellow readers at the conference. A facilitator will help guide participants in analyzing the book and sharing experiences, reactions, and insights.

This session is scheduled for December 7, 12:45 pm – 1:45 pm. You must be registered for the conference to attend, so please REGISTER TODAY.

Participants may contact Nicolette Querry to sign up for the book club session and obtain their FREE copy of the book in advance.

Interested in sponsoring the Book Club and giving welcoming remarks to the participants? Contact Nicolette Querry for details.

Learn more about MACo’s 2017 Winter Conference: