Ross Douthat in Conversation With Rick Perlstein is presented as part of the Common Ground Lecture Series, led by Richard A. Greenwald, PhD, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Fairfield University.
When 29 year old Ross Douthat was invited to join The New York Times nine years ago, he would be the youngest conservative voice to appear on its prestigious Op-Ed page, covering politics, religion, moral values and higher education. Since this launch, Douthat has frequently darted between an independent meld of free-thinking, non-partisanship and strict, doctrinal orthodoxies. In the tradition of Wm. F. Buckley, (they were skinny dipping together off of Buckley’s sailboat in LI Sound!) Douthat’s quest is to preserve the integrity of intellectual conservatism while embracing the impact of popular culture.
Raised with deep Yankee roots – his great grandfather was Connecticut Governor Wilbert Snow - he gained attention with a national visibility opining at the Harvard Crimson. Douthat is a polymath animated about the Red Sox, C.S. Lewis, and the impact on the new church of Jesuit Pope Francis. The New Yorker frames his vibrant and articulate voice: “Douthat, a staunch social conservative who nonetheless manages to project a tone of Gen X knowingness and mild ennui, is not so much an ideological champion or purveyor of contrarian opinion as a cunning interpreter.”
Rick Perlstein is the author of The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan. Before that, he published Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America (2008), a New York Times bestseller picked as one of the best nonfiction books of the year by over a dozen publications, and Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus, winner of the 2001 Los Angeles Times Book Award for history. A contributing writer at The Nation, former chief national correspondent for the Village Voice, and a former online columnist for the New Republic and Rolling Stone, his journalism and essays have appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, and many other publications. Politico called him "the chronicler extraordinaire of American conservatism," who "offers a hint of how interesting the political and intellectual dialogue might be if he could attract some mimics." The Nation called him the "hyper-caffeinated Herodotus of the American century." Born in 1969 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he lives in Chicago. In his spare time, he performs jazz piano and vocals and practices yoga.
Come join us for a truly provocative romp across the new barricades of the ‘Culture wars’ at the frontier between populist shouting vs earnest, respectful civil discourse in the USA today.