Conversations with David Blankenhorn

What Do Two Men Named Glenn Loury Say about Sex, Marriage, Class, and Race? – 1

The first part of this rich conversation tells the story of a son's coming out and a father's journey inside, along the fault lines of identity in America today.

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Glenn Loury, Sr., is a big, warm and fiercely intelligent man. His son, Glen Loury, Jr. – in all important respects – is just exactly the same. If you want to spend some fruitful minutes exploring the fraught landscape of sexual identity, class division, racial reality, and generational conflict in America, you have come to the right place.

Loury, Sr. was born in Chicago, Illinois. In 1972, he received his bachelor's degree in mathematics from Northwestern University. In 1976 he received his Ph.D. in economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is currently the Merton P. Stoltz Professor of the Social Sciences and Professor of Economics, and a research associate of the Population Studies and Training Center.

Loury, Jr. was born in Brookline, Massachusetts. He is a graduate of Haverford College. Among his many projects, he reviews movies at "Just A Bloody Blog". And co-hosts "The Glenn Show" with his father at Blogging Heads TV.

Conversations with David Blankenhorn

What Do Two Men Named Glenn Loury Say about Sex, Marriage, Class, and Race? – 2

The second part of this conversation examines differing views of marriage equality and what we can do going forward to understand and strengthen marriage for all who seek it.

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Glenn Loury, Sr., is a big, warm and fiercely intelligent man. His son, Glen Loury, Jr. – in all important respects – is just exactly the same. If you want to spend some fruitful minutes exploring the fraught landscape of sexual identity, class division, racial reality, and generational conflict in America, you have come to the right place.

Loury, Sr. was born in Chicago, Illinois. In 1972, he received his bachelor's degree in mathematics from Northwestern University. In 1976 he received his Ph.D. in economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is currently the Merton P. Stoltz Professor of the Social Sciences and Professor of Economics, and a research associate of the Population Studies and Training Center.

Loury, Jr. was born in Brookline, Massachusetts. He is a graduate of Haverford College. Among his many projects, he reviews movies at "Just A Bloody Blog". And co-hosts "The Glenn Show" with his father at Blogging Heads TV.

Conversations with Amy Ziettlow

The Hope of Youth Ministry

Kenda Creasy Dean, professor of youth, church and culture at Princeton Theological Seminary and the author of many books including "Almost Christian" talks with Amy about how to think about – among other things – how young people in our culture end up believing above all that "God is nice and God wants you to be nice."

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They discuss the arc of her career focusing on the importance of family and faith in supporting a consequential faith in today's young people.

Professor Dean also reflects on her contribution to "Does the Shape of Families Shape Faith?" project, hosted by IAV.

Music for the podcast made available courtesy of Bill McGarvey. Music can be purchased at billmcgarvey.com.

And please, subscribe on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/conversations-amy-ziettlow/id604538981

Conversations with David Blankenhorn

Marriage, Gay Marriage, and the Catholic Tradition – with Joseph Bottum and Charles Reid, Jr.

Why did two prominent Catholic intellectuals change their minds on gay marriage? And what does that mean for the future of marriage?

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Joseph (Jody) Bottom is an editor, speaker, and best-selling author. His most recent book is An Anxious Age: The Post-Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of America. His August 2013 essay in Commonweal – "The Things We Share: A Catholic's Case for Same-Sex Marriage" – was an immediate sensation. He lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Charles Reid, Jr. is a professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis. He is a prolific author of scholarly works related to marriage and marriage history as well as a frequent contributor to The Huffington Post. One of his recent law review articles is "The Devil Comes to Kansas: A Story of Free Love, Sexual Privacy, and the Law."

This conversation took place in New York City on February 5, 2014.

Conversations with Amy Ziettlow

A Rabbi's Struggle With Grief and God – with Rabbi Daniel Greyber

Amy Ziettlow interviews Rabbi Daniel Greyber of Beth El Synagogue in Durham, North Carolina and author of "Faith Unravels: A Rabbi's Struggle With Grief and God."

Conversations with David Blankenhorn

Marriage as Soulcraft – with Jonathan Rauch

David and Jonathan discuss the similarities between soulcraft and statecraft, and how they poignantly come together in Jonathan's life and searing new memoir Denial: My 25 Years Without A Soul.

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Jonathan Rauch a contributing editor of National Journal and The Atlantic, is the author of several books and many articles on public policy, culture, and economics. He is also a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution, a leading Washington think-tank. He is winner of the 2005 National Magazine Award for columns and commentary and the 2010 National Headliner Award for magarine columns.

Denial: My 25 Years Without Soul is about Jonathan's experience of growing up without the hope of marriage. And how that shaped – and misshaped – him.

Jonathan is a signatory to The Call For A New Conversation On Marriage' and a member of the Board of Directors of the Institute for American Values.

David and Jonathan's conversation was recorded in New York City at the Center for Public Conversation on June 14, 2013.

Conversations with David Blankenhorn

What Are the Rights of Donor-Conceived Persons?

Alana Newman and Ralph Buchalter join David Blankenhorn to explore the intricate ethical and moral issues surrounding third party reproduction and the anonymous practices of an industry often hidden from public view.

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Alana S. Newman is a donor-conceived person who writes about the ethics of donor conception and third-party reproduction. A musician, screenwriter, and author, she is the founder of Anonymous Us, an online story collective where people can share their experiences as donors and as donor-conceived persons in a context of privacy and dignity.

Ralph Buchalter works in finance in New York City. He blogs at FamilyScholars.org (where Alana also blogs), and is an advocate for gay and lesbian families and their children. Ralph and his husband have three young children who are donor-conceived.

David interviewed Alana and Ralph in New York City at the Center for Public Conversation on June 13, 1013.

Conversations with Amy Ziettlow

Gen X Faith and Culture – with Bill McGarvey

Bill McGarvey – accomplished singer songwriter, editor of busted halo.com for six years, and presently columnist for America Magazine – writes and sings about the intersection of culture and faith from a Catholic perspective with a heart for the spiritual seeker. Get to know Bill and his music in this exploration of faith and the creative spirit.

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Amy met Bill McGarvey at an Institute for American Values event where Fordham University professor and public intellectual, Peter Steinfels, and I discussed whether liberals will support marriage without the word gay in front of it. Spoiler alert, we said yes!

After the show, I met Bill and discovered his passion for thinking about Generation X, Catholicism, and finding God in the arts.

Music for the podcast made available courtesy of Bill McGarvey. Music can be purchased at billmcgarvey.com.

And please, subscribe on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/conversations-amy-ziettlow/id604538981

The interview was originally recorded on May 24, 2013.

Conversations with David Blankenhorn

Can Marriage Be Saved? – with Charles Murray

Charles joins David for a lively discussion of Coming Apart, Losing Ground, and other milestones in a career of thinking differently about public policy, civil society and the family.

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For the past thirty years, Charles Murray has authored titles that have sparked the essential debates. In 1984 – Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950-1980. In 1986 – In Pursuit: Of Happiness and Good Government. In 1994 with Richard Herrnstein, the controversial – The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life. In 1996 – What It Means To Be A Libertarian. In 2001 – Human Accomplishment. In 2006 – In Our Hands: A Plan to Replace the Welfare State. In 2009 – Real Education.

Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 was published in late 2012 and forms the background of this conversation. Coming Apart helped crystalize a full-throated debate about inequality, beyond mere hand wringing, daring to suggest that there are profound non-economic, as well as economic, forces at play. David Blankenhorn begins with a deft review of the broad impact of Murray's writings, but ends by pressing for real answers – and for Charles' own candid evaluation of what it all means.

Their conversation was live-streamed and recorded before an audience at the Center for Public Conversation in New York City, May 16, 2013.

Conversations with David Blankenhorn

What is Parenthood? – With Linda C. McClain

David and Linda have a frank discussion of the political labels and cultural messages that define the struggle over strengthening marriage and families. In the audio podcast, Amy Ziettlow explores with Linda the many facets of her new book and her current work.

Conversations with Amy Ziettlow

The Definition of Marriage – with Ryan Anderson

Amy Ziettlow interviews Ryan T. Anderson, William E. Simon Fellow at the Heritage Foundation. They discuss Ryan's latest book, "What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense," the relationship between writing and music, and the importance of civil conversations when we disagree.

Conversations with Amy Ziettlow

Back to the Future with Faith and Family Structure – with Andrew Root

Amy Ziettlow converses with Andrew Root, Professor of Youth and Family Ministry at Luther Seminary. They discuss his existential and intellectual journey that led to his book "The Children of Divorce" as well as how that work fits into his larger body of theological thought.

Conversations with David Blankenhorn

Is The Marriage Gap Driving Inequality? – with Larry Mead

David interviews Larry Mead, one of our foremost experts on poverty and welfare, on the importance of marriage in the current debate about inequality.

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Lawrence M. Mead teaches politics and policy making at New York University, focusing on poverty and America as a world power.

His publications include: Expanding Work Programs for Poor Men, AEI Press, 2011. Government Matters: Welfare Reform in Wisconsin, Princeton University Press, 2004. The New Paternalism: Supervisory Approaches to Poverty, Brookings. 1997. The New Politics of Poverty: The Nonworking Poor in America. Basic Books. 1992. Beyond Entitlement: The Social Obligations of Citizenship. Free Press. 1986.

This conversation was recorded and live streamed before an audience at the Center for Public Conversation, New York City, April 18, 2013.

Conversations with David Blankenhorn

Will Gays Change Marriage Or Will Marriage Change Gays? – with John Corvino

David and John discuss the need for a new conversation on marriage. Together they challenge each other with frank and illuminating insights on the full range of issues that impact the institution in our time.

Conversations with David Blankenhorn

Will Liberals Help To Save Marriage? – with Peter Steinfels and Amy Ziettlow

David probes the vision of liberals from very different generations to tease out the ideas and practices that will renew our marriage culture.

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Peter Steinfels is a professor at Fordham University, a prominent writer and journalist specializing in religious affairs and a co-director (with Margaret O'Brien Steinfels) of the Fordham University Center on Religion and Culture. His books include A People Adrift: The Crisis of the Roman Catholic Church in America and American Catholics and Civic Engagement.

Amy Ziettlow is a scholar at the Institute for American Values and the host of the podcast series Conversations with Amy Ziettlow. She is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and a leader of the American hospice care movement.

Conversations with David Blankenhorn

Should Religious People Join The New Conversation? – with Rusty Reno

Rusty Reno, Editor of First Things, debates David about the prospects for a New Conversation on Marriage among religiously committed communities.

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Russell Ronald Reno III (R. R. Reno) is the editor of First Things magazine. Until recently, Rusty was a professor of theology at Creighton University. Reno is the author of several books, including "Fighting the Noonday Devil", a theological commentary on the Book of Genesis in the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible series for which he also serves as general editor, "In the Ruins of the Church", and "Redemptive Change: Atonement and the Cure of the Soul." He has also coauthored two books, "Heroism and The Christian Life" and "Sanctified Vision: An Introduction to Early Christian Interpretation of the Bible." His scholarly work ranges widely in systematic and moral theology, as well as in controverted questions of biblical interpretation. Reno was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1959, and grew up in Towson, Maryland. A graduate of Towson High School in 1978, after a year living in his tent in Yosemite Valley; he attended Haverford College, receiving a BA in 1983. David and Jonathan's conversation was recorded in New York City at the Center for Public Conversation on March 19,1013.

Conversations with Amy Ziettlow

Religion, Divorce, and American Teens – with Melinda Lundquist Denton

Amy Ziettlow converses with Melinda Lundquist Denton, Professor in the Social Sciences at Clemson University. They discuss Denton's ground-breaking analysis concerning the impact of divorce on the practice and experience of the faith of teenagers and young adults.

Conversations with Amy Ziettlow

Same-Sex Legal Kit for Dummies – with John Culhane [Part 1]

Host Amy Ziettlow converses with John Culhane, Law Professor at Widener University and Co-author of the Same-Sex Legal Kit for Dummies. In Part One, they discuss DOMA, the intricacies of filing taxes for same-sex couples, the status of marriage, and even the NFL.

Conversations with Amy Ziettlow

Same-Sex Legal Kit for Dummies – with John Culhane [Part 2]

Amy Ziettlow converses with John Culhane, Law Professor at Widener University and Co-author of the Same-Sex Legal Kit for Dummies. In Part Two, they discuss civil unions, domestic partnerships, and raising children.

Conversations with David Blankenhorn

Can We Get Beyond the Marriage Culture Wars? — with Jonathan Haidt

David talks with Jonathan Haidt, author of The Righteous Mind and a supporter of our "Call for a New Conversation on Marriage."

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Jonathan Haidt is a professor at New York University Stern School of Business. For 16 years he taught psychology at the University of Virginia. His research focuses on the psychological bases of morality across different cultures and political ideologies. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992. He was awarded the Templeton Prize in Positive Psychology in 2001. His book The Happiness Hypothesis examines ten "great ideas" dating from antiquity and their continued relevance to the happy life. Part of his research focused on the emotion of elevation. His latest book The Righteous Mind is about how moral psychology illuminates perennial divisions in politics and religion.

David and Jonathan's conversation was recorded in New York City at the Center for Public Conversation on March 5, 2013.

Conversations with Amy Ziettlow

Marriage in the New Middle America – with Elizabeth Marquardt

Host Amy Ziettlow discusses with Elizabeth Marquardt, editor of the FamilyScholars blog and co-author of State of our Unions: The President's Marriage Agenda for the Forgotten Sixty Percent, removing the marriage penalty for low income Americans.

Conversations with Amy Ziettlow

Faith and Children of Divorce – with Chuck Stokes

Amy Ziettlow discusses faith and children of divorce with Charles E. Stokes, Professor at Samford University and co-author of "Does the Shape of Families Shape Faith? Challenging Churches to Confront Family Change."

Conversations with Amy Ziettlow

Does the Shape of Families Shape Faith? – with Elizabeth Marquardt

Host Amy Ziettlow discusses with Elizabeth Marquardt the release of the report Does the Shape of Families Shape Faith? They discuss highlights from the report's release event in Chicago as well as the FamilyScholars Symposium related to the report.

Conversations with Amy Ziettlow

The President's Marriage Agenda for the Forgotten 60% – with Elizabeth Marquardt

Amy Ziettlow and Elizabeth Marquardt discuss the 2012 State of our Unions report, "The President's Marriage Agenda for the Forgotten 60%."

Panel Discussions

Is Thrift Good for America?

A Conversation with Sheldon Garon, Nissan Professor of History and East Asian Studies at Princeton University and James Livingston, Professor of History at Rutgers University, held at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Moderated by David Blankenhorn, President, IAV.

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Historians JAMES LIVINGSTON (author of Against Thrift: Why Consumer Culture is Good for the Economy, the Environment and Your Soul.) and SHELDON GARON (author of Beyond Our Means: Why America Spends While the World Saves) take opposing views on the need for thrift in America today. Ever since the economist John Maynard Keynes famously contended that thrift was good for individuals but bad for the economy, scholars have argued over savings policy and its role in the national economy. This debate has fresh relevance today as Americans struggle to get out of debt and as the nation struggles to speed its sluggish economic recovery. The conversation between Livingtson and Garon challenges our thinking about our own saving and spending behavior and about the institutions that shape our behavior.

This conversation was part of the Summer Institute on Thrift Education at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and was recorded on August 1, 2012.

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Can We Talk Instead of Shout about Gay Marriage?

A Conversation with John Corvino, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Wayne State University and Maggie Gallagher, Co-founder of the National Organization for Marriage. Hosted by David Blankenhorn, President, IAV.

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As the uproar over the recent New York State law demonstrates, same-sex marriage is a perennial hot-button issue, certain to impact the 2012 election. The book, Debating Same-Sex Marriage provides a useful roadmap to both sides of this contentious matter. Taking a "point/counterpoint" approach, authors JOHN CORVINO (a philosopher and a prominent gay advocate) and MAGGIE GALLAGHER (a nationally syndicated columnist and co-founder of the National Organization for Marriage) consider key questions about the institution itself: What is marriage for? Is marriage meant to be a gendered institution? Why is the state in the business of sanctioning marriage? Where do the needs of children fit in? Will legalization of same-sex marriage lead to legalization of polygamy? Corvino argues that society should support same-sex marriage because of its interest in supporting stable households for all its members, gay and straight alike. Gallagher argues that government recognition of same-sex unions as marriages will disconnect marriage from its key public mission furthering responsible procreation, while stigmatizing traditional views of sex, marriage and family as bigotry. Both agree that the issue deserves thoughtful, rigorous engagement.

This conversation was recorded in New York City on June 7, 2012.

Panel Discussions

Religious Liberty and the Human Good

A Conversation with Robert P.George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University. Hosted by David Blankenhorn, President, IAV.

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Consulted by international leaders, awarded Presidential medals and academic prizes, ROBERT GEORGE is one of the nation's most influential thinkers. His books, lectures and arguments on law, ethics, and religion have challenged liberals and conservatives alike on the question of what constitutes the human good. In this event, Professor George and David Blankenhorn have a far-ranging conversation and examination of religious liberty and civil society.

This conversation was recorded in New York City on May 29, 2012.

Panel Discussions

Are Casinos Like Cocaine for the Brain?

A conversation with Hans C. Breiter, M.D., Psychiatrist and Neuroscientist, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine; Paul Davies, Maggie Walker Fellow, IAV; and Kathleen Kovner Kline, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at the Consortium. Hosted by David Blankenhorn, President, IAV.

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"Coke and gambling do the same thing in the brain," according to Harvard neuroscientist HANS BREITER, one of the nation's leading researchers on the reward circuitry in the brain. Breiter's experiments comparing the brain of a healthy individual who gambles with the brain of cocaine addicts, found that the brain images were identical. But beyond this important finding, Breiter's research raises questions about the still unaddressed public health and ethical consequences of expanded gambling in New York. "Every society must make a decision about the slippery slope dividing healthy endeavors from pathological ones," Breiter told Massachusetts officials in his testimony on expanded gambling in 2009, "When you are taking tax dollars from gambling, think of the normal brain high on cocaine."

Join HANS BREITER, journalist PAUL DAVIES, and psychiatrist KATHLEEN KOVNER KLINE:

  • Should the state knowingly contribute to increasing the risks of gambling addiction?
  • What are the health costs to individuals, families, and the taxpayer from problem gambling?
  • Should gambling be treated like a legal drug?
  • What is the ethical responsibility of the state to its vulnerable citizens?

This conversation was recorded in New York City on April 26, 2012.

Panel Discussions

Flagrant Conduct

A Conversation with Dale Carpenter, Earl R. Larson Professor of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Law, University of Minnesota Law School, on Flagrant Conduct: The Story of Lawrence v. Texas. Hosted by Elizabeth Marquardt, Affiliate Scholar, IAV.

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Flagrant Conduct is the still-untold story of Lawrence v. Texas, the landmark Supreme Court decision on gay rights. Drawing from dozens of new interviews that yield surprising new evidence, author DALE CARPENTER re-examines the motives of almost every character involved, from the arresting police officers to the gay-rights attorneys, whose maneuverings brought the case to national attention, to the nine Supreme Court justices. With the legal battle over gay marriage looming, this first complete history of the case, which expanded the legal rights of millions of gay and lesbian Americans, could not be timelier.

This conversation was recorded in New York City on March 22, 2012.

Panel Discussions

When Baby Makes Three

A Conversation with W. Bradford Wilcox, Director, National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia; Elizabeth Marquardt, Affiliate Scholar, IAV; and David and Amber Lapp, Researchers, IAV, on When Baby Makes Three: How Parenthood Makes Life Meaningful and How Marriage Makes Parenthood Bearable. Hosted by David Blankenhorn, President, IAV.

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Married parents are more likely than their childless peers to feel their lives have a sense of meaning and purpose. And parents who are married generally experience more happiness and less depression than parents who are unmarried. At the same time, studies show that parenthood is typically associated with lower levels of marital happiness. But there is a substantial minority of husbands and wives who do not experience parenthood as an obstacle to marital happiness. These women and men navigate the shoals of parenthood without succumbing to comparatively low levels of marital happiness or high levels of marital instability. What is their secret?

This conversation was recorded in New York City on December 8, 2011.

Panel Discussions

Beyond Our Means

A Conversation with Sheldon Garon, Nissan Professor of History and East Asian Studies at Princeton University. Hosted by Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, Director of Civil Society Initiatives, IAV.

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If the financial crisis has taught us anything, it is that Americans save too little, spend too much, and borrow excessively. What can we learn from East Asian and European countries that have fostered enduring cultures of thrift over the past two centuries? Beyond Our Means tells for the first time how other nations aggressively encouraged their citizens to save by means of special savings institutions and savings campaigns. The U.S. government, meanwhile, promoted mass consumption and reliance on credit, culminating in the global financial meltdown.

Many economists believe people save according to universally rational calculations, saving the most in their middle years as they plan for retirement, and saving the least in welfare states. In reality, Europeans save at high rates despite generous welfare programs and aging populations. Americans save little, despite weaker social safety nets and a younger population. Tracing the development of such behaviors across three continents from the nineteenth century to today, author SHELDON GARON highlights the role of institutions and moral suasion in shaping habits of saving and spending. It shows how the encouragement of thrift was not a relic of indigenous traditions but a modern movement to confront rising consumption. Around the world, messages to save and spend wisely confronted citizens everywhere – in schools, magazines, and novels. At the same time, in America, businesses and government normalized practices of living beyond one's means.

Transnational history at its most compelling, Beyond Our Means reveals why some nations save so much and others so little.

This conversation was recorded in New York City on Nov. 10, 2011.

Panel Discussions

Is Marriage for White People?

A Conversation with Ralph Richard Banks, Jackson Eli Reynolds Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and Author, Is Marriage for White People? How the Decline of African American Marriage Affects Everyone, hosted by Leah Ward Sears, Former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice.

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Based on his social science research, author RALPH RICHARD BANKS looks, with JUSTICE LEAH SEARS at the intimate lives of African American women and examines why they are not getting married and are the least likely to marry of any segment of the American population.

This conversation was recorded in New York City on September 26, 2011.

Panel Discussions

Our Call to Civil Society

A Conversation with Jean Bethke Elshtain, the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics, Divinity School, The University of Chicago; hosted by David Blankenhorn, President, IAV.

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JEAN BETHKE ELSHTAIN's body of critical thought has shaped elite opinion for a quarter of a century. In this wide-ranging and riveting discussion, host DAVID BLANKENHORN has a wide-ranging and riveting discussion with Professor Elshtain on the state of American political life and culture.

This conversation was recorded in New York City on September 22, 2011.

Panel Discussions

Why Marriage Matters

A Conversation with Elizabeth Marquardt, Affiliate Scholar, IAV; Amy L. Wax, Robert Mundheim Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School; and W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project, University of Virginia. Hosted by Jonathan Rauch, guest scholar at the Brookings Institution.

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For most of the latter-half of the twentieth century, divorce posed the greatest threat to child well-being and the institution of marriage. Today, that is not the case. New research – made available for the first time in this third edition of "Why Marriage Matters" – suggests that the rise of cohabiting households with children is the largest unrecognized threat to the quality and stability of children's lives in today's families.

This conversation was recorded in New York City on August 16, 2011.

Panel Discussions

Will Inflation Gut the American Saver?

A Conversation with William P. Mumma, President and CEO of Mitsubishi UFJ Securities USA and Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, Director of Civil Society Initiatives, IAV. Hosted by Sean Fieler, Managing Member of Equinox Partners, LP.

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American families are struggling to repair their household balance sheets, replenish their nest-eggs, save for retirement, and to renew a culture of thrift. If inflation takes off as many predict, then incentives to save will be undermined and the value of thrift imperiled. In this panel discussion, the risks of inflation are examined and options to protect the American saver are discussed.

This conversation was recorded in New York City on June 9, 2011.

Panel Discussions

Race, Incarceration and American Values

A Conversation with Glenn C. Loury, Author, Race, Incarceration, and American Values and Leah Ward Sears, Former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice, hosted by David Blankenhorn, President, IAV.

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Race, Incarceration, and American Values argues that mass incarceration is not a response to rising crime rates or a proud success of social policy, but the product of a generation-old collective decision to become a more punitive society. GLENN C. LOURY connects this policy to our history of racial oppression, showing that the punitive turn in American politics and culture emerged in the post-civil rights years and has today become the main vehicle for the reproduction of racial hierarchies. The uncontroversial fact is that we have created a nether class of Americans with severely restricted rights and life chances. Our system, Professor Loury contends, should be unacceptable to Americans; his call to action makes all of us responsible for ensuring that it changes.

This converstaion was recorded in New York City on May 4, 2011.

Panel Discussions

The Mating/Marriage Dance

A Conversation with Kay S. Hymowitz, Author of Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men into Boys, and Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, Author of Why There Are No Good Men Left: The Romantic Plight of Single Women, hosted by Amber Lapp, Co-Investigator, "Love and Marriage in Middle America," an IAV project.

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KAY S. HYMOWITZ is the William E. Simon Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal. She writes extensively on childhood, family issues, poverty, and cultural change in America. Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Is Turning Men Into Boys is an essential book for understanding the dramatic changes that are taking place in the lives of young people across the globe. Dudes, guys, geeks, hipsters: Are they men or are they boys? Hymowitz shows why lots of people – especially young women – aren't so sure, and why that matters to all of us.

BARBARA DAFOE WHITEHEAD is director of the Templeton Center for Thrift and Generosity at the Institute for American Values. A social historian of the family, Whitehead's book, Why There Are No Good Men Left: The Romantic Plight of Single Women, documents the emergence of a new mating system oriented to short-term relationships rather than to marriage. She explores its effects on young educated women's prolonged and often frustrating search for a mate.

This conversation was recorded in New York City on April 21, 2011.

Panel Discussions

The Arab Protest

A Conversation with Abdulrahman Al-Salimi, Editor, Al-Tasamoh, and Hassan I. Mneimneh, Editor, IjtihadReason, hosted by William A. Galston, The Ezra K. Zikha Chair in Governance Studies, The Brookings Institution.

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ABDULRAHMAN AL-SALIMI, HASSAN I. MNEIMNEH, AND WILLIAM A. GALSTON discuss the recent protests in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Jordon, Iraq, Iran, Algeria, the Sudan, Bahrain, and Libya. Their conversation addresses the causes, the leadership, the role played by Islamists, Islam, the new media, youth, the United States, the impact on Israel, and what role, if any, there is for global civil society and universal values.

This conversation was recorded in New York City on March 8, 2011.

Panel Discussions

A Bee in the Mouth

A Conversation with Peter Wood, President, National Association of Scholars and author of A Bee in the Mouth: Anger in America Now and David Blankenhorn, President, IAV.

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In A Bee in the Mouth, PETER WOOD charts the rise in American life of "new anger" – the replacement of an older ethic of self-control with a new sense that public and private displays of anger are empowering and a legitimate way to pursue one's goals. This new anger is not only conspicuous in our politics, across the spectrum of ideology, but it is also a force in nearly every other domain of our lives: the family, the workplace, sports, entertainment, popular music, the Internet, and even fashion.

The book, which was published in 2007, was ahead of its time. Wood predicted that the norms governing how we relate to one another as citizens, neighbors, friends, and family members were trending toward even further verbal escalation and erosion of self-control. He reminds us that we have a choice about these matters, and proposes that we re-examine whether we really want to make the cult of angry "authenticity" a guiding principle of American culture.

This conversation was recorded in New York City on February 23, 2011.

Panel Discussions

When Marriage Disappears

A Conversation with Elizabeth Marquardt, Affiliate Scholar, IAV, and W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project, University of Virginia and editor of The State of Our Unions.

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W. BRADFORD WILCOX and ELIZABETH MARQUARDT tackle the striking yet little-discussed decline in marriage among "Middle America" – the nearly 60 percent of Americans who have completed high school, but do not have a four-year college degree. Among that group, 44 percent of children are now born outside of marriage, up sharply from 13 percent in the 1980s.

According to numerous studies, children born or raised outside of marriage are more likely to suffer from a range of emotional and social problems – including drug use, depression, attempted suicide and dropping out of high school – compared to children in intact, married families, as summarized in past reports such as "Why Marriage Matters" from the same team.

While debates over same-sex marriage have filled the headlines, the rapid hollowing out of marriage in Middle America – more than half of births among women under 30 now occur outside of marriage – has received scant attention from national leaders, they note.

Even modest improvements in the health of marriage in America will reduce suffering and yield savings for taxpayers, the report argues. One study calculated that reducing family fragmentation by just 1 percent would save $1.1 billion annually as fewer children repeat grades, are suspended from school, require counseling or attempt suicide.

Noting that the disappearance of marriage in Middle America is tracking with the disappearance of the middle class in the same communities, Wilcox and Marquardt argue that strengthening marriage is a vital pathway to opening social opportunity and reducing inequality.

This conversation was recorded in New York City on December 7, 2010.

Panel Discussions

Generosity Unbound – with Claire Gaudiani

A Conversation with Claire Gaudiani, author of Generosity Unbound: How American Philanthropy Can Strengthen the Economy and Expand the Middle Class, and David Blankenhorn, President, IAV.

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In Generosity Unbound, CLAIRE GAUDIANI mounts a spirited defense of philanthropic freedom addressed to conservatives, liberals and centrists. She acknowledges the good intentions of those who favor greater regulation of private philanthropy, but powerfully demonstrates the dangers of this approach. Gaudiani also uncovers the fascinating history of philanthropy in America, showing how this nation's distinctive tradition of citizen-to-citizen generosity has been a powerful engine of economic growth, social justice, and upward mobility.

This Conversation was recorded in New York City on September 23, 2010.

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