Harvard political science professor Robert Putnam talks with Dan Bammes and Utah Foundation President Peter Reichard about the idea of social capital — the central idea of his groundbreaking book Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. He also talks about his more recent book, Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis, that looks at the growing gap between wealthy American families and others who’ve found education and social mobility much harder to achieve.
Professor Putnam was recently in Salt Lake City to speak to Utah Foundation’s annual luncheon. He is the Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, and past president of the American Political Science Association. In 2006, Putnam 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. Raised in a small town in the Midwest and educated at Swarthmore, Oxford, and Yale, he has served as Dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.