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Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010

Wednesday February 2012


Charles Murray W.H. Brady Scholar, American Enterprise Institute

In 1984, Charles Murray first came to national attention as a Manhattan Institute fellow with Losing Ground, the book that is widely credited with starting the conversation that led to the welfare reform act of 1996. In 1994, he and Richard J. Herrnstein published The Bell Curve, one of the most widely debated works of social science in the last half century. In his latest book, Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010, Charles Murray explores the emergence of American classes that are different in kind from anything the nation has ever known. The top and the bottom of American society increasingly live in different cultures, with different norms of behavior, living in isolation from one another. The problem is not income inequality, Murray argues, but cultural inequality that threatens the civic fabric that has made America unique.