Charles Murray and Robert D. Putnam debate whether class division is tearing the U.S. apart. They are join in conversation by David Gergen. Location: Greenwald Pavilion
David Gergen is a professor of public service and director of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School. In addition, he serves as a senior political analyst for CNN and contributes to Parade Magazine. In the past, he has served as a White House adviser to presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Clinton. He wrote about those experiences in his New York Times best-seller, Eyewitness to Power. In the 1980s, he also served as chief editor of US News & World Report. He serves on many boards, including Teach for America, City Year, the Schwab Foundation, and the Aspen Institute, and is chair of the advisory board for Elon University School of Law. He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar, a veteran of the US Navy, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a member of the US executive committee for the Trilateral Commission.
Dr. Charles Murray
Charles Murray is the W. H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. A political scientist, author, and libertarian, he came to national attention in 1984 with the publication of Losing Ground, which has been credited as the intellectual foundation for the Welfare Reform Act of 1996. His 1994 New York Times bestseller The Bell Curve, coauthored with the late Richard J. Herrnstein, sparked controversy for its analysis of the role of IQ in shaping America’s class structure. Murray’s other books include What It Means to Be a Libertarian, Human Accomplishment, In Our Hands, Real Education, and Coming Apart. His most recent book, By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission urges Americans to stem governmental overreach and use America’s unique civil society to put government back in its place.
Robert D. Putnam is the Peter and Isabel Malkin professor of public policy at Harvard Kennedy School and a visiting professor at University of Manchester (UK). His most recent book, American Grace, co-authored with David Campbell, focuses on the role of religion in American public life. Putnam is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the British Academy, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a past president of the American Political Science Association. Putnam won the Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science in 2006 and has served as an adviser to presidents and national leaders around the world. He has written a dozen books, including Bowling Alone and Making Democracy Work. The Sunday Times called Putnam "the most influential academic in the world today."