Diversity and Community

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Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam is a self-described full-on liberal who worries a lot about community in America.

He made his name in the 1990s with his finding that hordes of Americans were, in his famous phrase, "bowling alone" — living without the traditional community ties of bowling leagues and Moose clubs that bound people together.

Then he set out on a huge project to find out why. The answer looks like a liberal's nightmare: diversity. Diverse communities, Putnam found, show dysfunction. At least for a while.

This hour On Point: Robert Putnam, Pat Buchanan and Lani Guinier on diversity and community in America.


Robert Putnam, Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University and author of "Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community."

Lani Guinier, Professor of Law, Harvard Law School and author of the forthcoming "Meritocracy, Inc: How Wealth Became Merit, Class Became Race and Higher Education Became a Gift from the Poor to the Rich."

Pat Buchanan, Founder and Editor of The American Conservative magazine and author of "State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America."

This program aired on August 9, 2007.


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