David Gergen and David Kennedy discuss American democracy and how it works. David Gergen, David Kennedy, Russell Muirhead, Sanford V. Levinson are in conversation.
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.
David M. Kennedy is the Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History Emeritus and co-director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University, where he has taught for more than four decades. His book, Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for History in 2000. He has lectured on American history in Italy, Germany, Turkey, Scandinavia, Canada, Britain, Australia, and Ireland. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. In 2008, the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences awarded him the Wilbur Cross Medal, its highest honor.
Sanford Levinson is the W. St. John Garwood and W. St. John Garwood, Jr. Centennial Chair and a professor of government at the University of Texas. He has been teaching law and government at UT since 1980, following a teaching position at Princeton University. His specialty is the United States Constitution, about which he has written hundreds of articles and several books. His most recent book Framed: America’s 51 Constitutions and the Crisis of Governance, looks at the United States Constitution in the context of American state constitutions, many of which are interestingly different in providing models of governance. He was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001.
Russell Muirhead is the Robert Clements Associate Professor of Democracy and Politics at Dartmouth College, where he teaches courses on American political thought and philosophic foundations of constitutional democracy. He is currently finishing a book called A Defense of Party Spirit, which attempts to say something good about partisanship. His previous book, Just Work, analyzes the moral meanings of work in democratic culture. Muirhead has taught in the past at Williams College, Harvard University, and the University of Texas at Austin.