Featuring Robert Putnam and Shaylyn Romney Garrett, co-authors of “The Upswing: How America Came Together a Century Ago and How We Can Do It Again,” in conversation with Aspen Institute President and CEO Dan Porterfield. Putnam and Romney Garrett will discuss how we have gone from an individualistic “I” society to a more communitarian “We” society and then back again, and how we can learn from that experience to become a stronger, more unified nation.
Robert D. Putnam is the Malkin Research Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the British Academy, and past president of the American Political Science Association, in 2006 he received the Skytte Prize, the world’s highest accolade for a political scientist. In 2012 Barack Obama awarded Bob the National Humanities Medal, the nation’s highest honor for contributions to the humanities. He has written fifteen books, translated into twenty languages, including Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Italy and Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, both among the most cited (and bestselling) social science works in nearly a century. He has consulted for Presidents Carter, Clinton, Bush 43, and Obama, as well as presidents and prime ministers from the UK, Ireland, and Finland to South Korea and Singapore. His most recent book, The Upswing: How America Came Together a Century Ago and How We Can Do It Again (2020), is a widely praised study of broad 20th century American economic, social, political, and cultural trends.
Shaylyn Romney Garrett is an author, speaker, and changemaker pursuing connection, community, and healing in a fragmented world. She is the co-author with Robert D. Putnam of The Upswing: How America Came Together A Century Ago and How We Can Do It Again (Simon & Schuster 2020), which has been hailed as “a magnificent and visionary book,” and “a must-read for those who wonder how we can reclaim our nation’s promise.” Shaylyn’s writing also includes uniquely revealing portraits of religious communities across the United States in American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us, which won Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson Award for best political science book of 2010-11.
Shaylyn has shared her opinions, writing, and research in numerous outlets including TIME Magazine, The New York Times, National Public Radio, BBC Radio, and the PBS Newshour. In 2011 she was honored with the Draper Richards Kaplan Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship, and was a finalist in the global Echoing Green Competition. She was twice awarded a membership to the Clinton Global Initiative, and has been a speaker at TEDx. Shaylyn holds a BA in Government from Harvard University, and is a returned Peace Corps volunteer. She’s also a permaculturalist who thinks a lot about healthy soils as a model for thriving human communities.