Robert Putnam
Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis

Registration for this event is now closed.

Robert Putnam, best-selling author, consultant to three American presidents, and current Harvard professor, will discuss his new book, Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis, published in March 2015.

A book signing with copies of Our Kids for purchase will directly follow the event.

A groundbreaking examination of the growing inequality gap in America, Our Kids tells the tale of lessening opportunity through poignant life stories of rich and poor kids from cities and suburbs across the country, drawing on a formidable body of research done especially for this book. Putnam begins with his high school class of 1959 in Port Clinton, Ohio. By and large the vast majority of those students—"our kids"—went on to lives better than those of their parents. But, like so many across the country, their children and grandchildren have had harder lives amid diminishing prospects in an environment which today offers fewer Americans the opportunity for upward mobility.

Robert Putnam is the Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the British Academy, and past president of the American Political Science Association. He has received numerous scholarly honors, including the Skytte Prize—the most prestigious global award in political science—and the National Humanities Medal, the nation's highest honor for contributions to the humanities. He has written 14 books, translated into more than 20 languages, including Bowling Alone and Making Democracy Work, both among the most cited publications in the social sciences in the last half century. His 2010 book, co-authored with David E. Campbell, American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us, won the American Political Science Association's 2011 Woodrow Wilson award as the best book in political science. He has consulted for the last three American presidents, the last three British prime ministers, the last French president, prime ministers from Ireland to Singapore, and hundreds of grassroots leaders and activists in many countries.

This event is free; however, registration is required as space is limited.

For more information, please contact Megan Brewster at 314-935-3191, or via email at


Generous cosponsors for this event include the Center for Household Financial Stability and Community Development department at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and the following at Washington University in St. Louis: The Center for Social Development; The Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy; The Policy Forum at the Brown School; The Department of Sociology; and The Gephardt Institute for Public Service.