As a Manhattan Institute senior fellow in the 1980s, Dr. Charles Murray authored the watershed book, Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950 – 1980. By documenting how public assistance programs disincentivized work and the formation of stable families, he helped pave the way for the landmark federal welfare reform legislation of 1996. Said President Bill Clinton of Murray and Losing Ground: “He did the country a great service. I mean, he and I have often disagreed, but I think his analysis is essentially right.”
Since then, as a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, he has authored and coauthored numerous books on topics including: the role of IQ in shaping class structure, libertarianism and the economic, moral, and spiritual decline of the (white) working class. His latest book, The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Getting Ahead, offers advice for young professionals about how to impress higher-ups in the workplace and live a good life. MI vice president for policy research, Howard Husock, interviewed Murray at the June 4th, 2014 Young Leaders Circle event about these topics, with a particular focus on the findings of Murray’s 2012 book, Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010, in which Murray describes a new and growing problem in the United States: the class divide.