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Best-Selling Author Robert D. Putnam to Speak at OU

Best-Selling Author Robert D. Putnam to Speak at OU

Robert D. Putnam, who wrote "Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis," will speak at the University of Oklahoma Jan. 20.

NORMAN – Best-selling author Robert D. Putnam, whose latest book, "Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis," examines the growing class gap among American young people, will speak at a President’s Associates dinner at the University of Oklahoma on Wednesday, Jan. 20. Prior to dinner, Putnam will meet with OU students for an informal discussion.

“Robert Putnam is one of the most insightful commentators in our nation on trends in our society,” said OU President David L. Boren. “He understands that obtaining an excellent education is essential to realizing the American Dream of upward mobility through hard work.”

Putnam 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. In 2006, he 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.

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.

Putnam is the Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the British Academy. Educated at Swarthmore, Oxford and Yale, he has served as dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. The Sunday Times of London has called him “the most influential academic in the world,” and The New York Times said, “Robert D. Putnam is technically a Harvard social scientist, but a better description might be poet laureate of civil society.”

Limited seating is available by reservation for OU students, faculty and staff, with overflow seating available to the public. For reservations, more information and accommodations on the basis of disability, please call OU Public Affairs at (405) 325-3784 or email