When, in early 2011, Eric Schmidt stepped aside from his position as Google's CEO to become the company's executive chairman, some of us were reminded of Dean Acheson's famous gibe about postwar Britain — which had "lost an empire but not yet found a role." What would Dr. Schmidt's new role be, and when would he find it?

The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business, by Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen. Knopf, 2013, 315 pp., $29.95 (hardcover)

Well, now we know. As well as acting as the public face of Google, he's also been traveling the globe, researching a book with his coauthor, Jared Cohen, who has the magnificent title of "director, Google Ideas."