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Next Question with Katie Couric

David Leonhardt’s Surprisingly Optimistic Analysis of Our Political Moment

Next Question with Katie Couric
Next Question with Katie Couric

Have you achieved the American Dream? Actually–how do you even define the American Dream? Sometimes it can feel like that phrase is meaningless and politicized but that idea is such a cornerstone of what makes us the United States. It’s foundational, but it can sometimes feel like it’s falling apart.

Enter David Leonhardt’s new book–he’s a columnist at the New York Times and heads their The Morning newsletter. In the book, Ours Was the Shining Future, he sets out to quantify the American Dream and tell a story of how it’s changed over the last few decades. And for those who might feel intimidated by economics, Leonhardt’s book might just be the perfect entry point: the personal narratives of the people who shaped our history bring this book from the theoretical to the concrete.

This insightful, comprehensive, human book provides a perfect jumping off point to examine the long, imperfect story of our ongoing project as Americans, striving to realize the promises of democracy and capitalism–and all the successes and failures along the way so far. We can learn from the past, and David, armed with data but also with compassion and optimism, is an excellent guide.

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