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 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 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

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

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

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 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 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 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 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 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

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 David Blankenhorn

Thrift – Telling the Story of a Cultural Movement for Today

Andrew Yarrow discusses the fate of a national movement that responded to the industrial age and a nascent consumer society. This unique coalition of social forces inspired both reform of character and institutions – and has great significance for today.

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In his new book – Thrift: The History of an American Cultural Movement – IAV Fellow Andrew L. Yarrow tells the story of a national movement that promoted an amalgam of values and practices ranging from self-control, money management, and efficiency to conservation, generosity, and planning for the future – all under the rubric of "thrift." Emerging in tandem and in tension with the first flowerings of consumer society, the thrift movement flourished during the 1910s and 1920s and then lingered on the outskirts of American culture from the Depression to the prosperous mid-twentieth century.

A post–World War II culture that centered on spending and pleasure made the early-twentieth-century thrift messages seem outdated. Nonetheless, echoes of thrift can be found in currently popular ideas of "sustainability," "stewardship," and "simplicity" and in efforts to curtail public and private debt.

The interview was recorded in New York City October 25, 2014.

Conversations with David Blankenhorn

American Values in the Age of Hyper-Partisanship

In a wide-ranging and free-wheeling discussion, Village Square board member Bill Mattox and David Blankenhorn focus on not just on problems (like hyper-partisanship) but also on solutions (like how to build stronger communities).

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Founder and President of the Institute for American Values — a New York City based think tank focused on rebuilding civil society — David Blankenhorn has spent his career thinking creatively and provoking constructive discourse about some of the most important and controversial cultural issues of our time. As we find ourselves increasingly locked down inside ideological camps, David defies categories, crosses boundaries, and offers fresh and compelling thinking where we seem most stuck. Our discussion will be wide-ranging and free-wheeling and will focus not just on problems (like hyper-partisanship) but also on solutions (like how to build stronger communities). Facilitated by his long-time friend and Village Square board member Bill Mattox, if you're tired of thinking inside the box then this one's for you.

This interview was recorded in Tallahassee, FL on January 27, 2015.

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