The future of American politics is already visible. To see it, one must look beyond Washington to America's "laboratories of democracy," the states. Today's governors are hammering out a wide range of new approaches to the economic and social problems created by the transition to a post-industrial economy. In the process, they are constructing a new political paradigm: a post-Great Society, post-Reagan politics molded to the realities of the 1980s and 1990s. The bottom-up innovation is reminiscent of the Progressive Era, when America's governors-responding to the birth of an industrial economy-laid the groundwork for the New Deal. Laboratories of Democracy looks at six governors who sponsored innovative programs in the 1980s: Mario Cuomo of New York, Bill Clinton of Arkansas, Bruce Babbitt of Arizona, Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts, James Blanchard of Michigan, and Richard Thornburg of Pennsylvania. Osborne explores their experimental economic and social programs, from technology development to welfare reform. He argues that the new roles played by state governments foreshadow a new role for the federal government-just as the Progressive Era foreshadowed the New Deal.