New York Times columnist to speak on meritocracy

Our contemporary power structure claims to be based on merit and aims for diversity, but it has lost a sense of duty and responsibility that the traditional aristocracy represented, says author and political essayist Ross Douthat. In “Meritocracy and the Public Good:  Who Wins?  Who Loses?” Douthat will explore what the costs of this structure are to the common good. Sponsored by the program on Freedom and Free Societies, the talk will be held Thursday, April 25, at 5:30 p.m. in the Hollis E. Cornell Auditorium in Goldwin Smith Hall on the Cornell University campus.  It is free and open to the public.

“As a strong conservative commentator on America today, Ross Douthat offers lucid, penetrating thought, and an irresistible narrative ability. He is one of our most perceptive writers, and I am sure Douthat’s talk will engage the audience across the political spectrum,” said Barry Strauss, the Bryce and Edith M. Bowmar Professor in Humanistic Studies in the Department of History.
Douthat is credited with helping the conservative movement find a new relevance in 21st century America. He is an op-ed columnist for The New York Times and has served as senior editor and blogger for The Atlantic.  His books include “To Change the Church: Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism,” “Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics,” and “Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class.”
The talk is sponsored by the Program on Freedom and Free Societies, which aims to enhance understanding and appreciation for constitutional liberty by stimulating inquiry into the nature and meaning of freedom.

Claire Anne Perez is communications assistant for the Department of History

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		 Ross Douthat