The world's most popular products, from the iPhone to Google Search, were funded not by private companies, but the taxpayer. In this sharp and controversial international bestseller, an award-winning economist debunks the pervasive myth that the government is sluggish and inept, and at odds with a dynamic private sector. She reveals in detailed case studies that the opposite is true: the state is, and has been, our boldest and most valuable innovator. Denying this history is leading us down the wrong path. A select few get credit for what is an intensely collective effort, and the U.S. government has started disinvesting from innovation. The repercussions could stunt economic growth and increase inequality. Mazzucato teaches us how to reverse this trend before it is too late.