Robert Putnam, author of the groundbreaking and influential bestseller Bowling Alone, discusses his newest book, Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis, an authoritative examination of the growing inequality gap that is leaving fewer Americans with the opportunity for upward mobility that has defined the American dream.
At Roosevelt House, Putnam will speak about how and why the American dream – get a good education, work hard, buy a house, and achieve prosperity and success in a nation of opportunity, constrained only by ability and effort – has, during the last twenty-five years become an unrealizable goal for many. Putnam will then be joined by Joseph Viteritti, Thomas Hunter Professor of Public Policy at Hunter College, to explore in further depth the widening “opportunity gap,” why the central tenet of the American dream seems no longer true or at the least, much less true than it was – and what policy solutions can halt this decline in opportunity and restore a greater chance for upward mobility.
Robert Putnam, “the most influential academic in the world,” according to the Sunday Times of London, is the Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University. He has written fourteen books. In 2013, he was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Obama.