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Harvard’s Putnam to discuss inequality gap at Chancellor’s Lecture Nov. 28

by Nov. 16, 2016, 6:56 PM

Robert D. Putnam
Robert D. Putnam

Prominent political scientist Robert D. Putnam, whose latest book examines the widening class-based opportunity gap among young people and its long-term effect on social mobility, will speak at Vanderbilt University Monday, Nov. 28, as part of the Chancellor’s Lecture Series.

Putnam will discuss Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. in the Student Life Center Ballroom. A reception and book signing will precede the talk from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Student Life Center Board of Trust Room. The event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-seated basis. Tickets and reservations will not be issued for this event.

Putnam’s talk is co-sponsored by Vanderbilt’s Department of Political Science, with generous support provided by the Mary L. Armistead Fund for the Norman Thomas Lecture Series.

Our Kids is a groundbreaking examination of the United States’ growing inequality gap and why fewer Americans today have the opportunity for upward mobility. In its starred review, Kirkus called the work “Highly readable. … An insightful book that paints a disturbing picture of the collapse of the working class and the growth of an upper class that seems to be largely unaware of the other’s precarious existence.”

Putnam is the Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the British Academy, and past president of the American Political Science Association. In 2006, he received the Skytte Prize, the world’s highest accolade for a political scientist, and in 2012 he received the National Humanities Medal, the nation’s highest honor for contributions to the humanities.

Putnam has written 14 books that have been translated into 20 languages, including the best-selling Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community; Better Together: Restoring the American Community; and Making Democracy Work, which was praised by the Economist as “a great work of social science, worthy to rank alongside de Tocqueville, Pareto and Weber.”

Parking for the Nov. 28 event will be available in the 25th Avenue Garage, located near the intersection of 25th and Highland avenues. Please use the Highland Avenue entrance to the garage and park in any non-reserved spaces.

The Vanderbilt Chancellor’s Lecture Series strives to connect the university and the Nashville community with intellectuals who are shaping our world. For more information about the series, visit the Chancellor’s Lecture Series website, email, call (615) 322-0885, or follow on Twitter @VUCLS.

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