I went back to Ohio. But my city was gone.
I interviewed Robert Putnam today over at Vox about Hillary Clinton’s liberal communitarian views. He has been an advisor to several presidents in both parties.
Clinton has noted that Putnam is one of her major influences. As I note at Vox, his recent book Our Kids begins with a poignant account of Putnamâ€™s boyhood home of Port Clinton, Ohio, just east of Toledo. The social and economic challenges facing this former manufacturing hub reflect some of the deepest problems facing America today. For that very reason, Port Clinton is a battleground area within a battleground state that may determine the 2016 election.
Putnam is alarmed about the decline of social ties over the decades, and equally alarmed about the corrosive impact of rising inequality on the life chances of millions of children. Yet he combines that alarm with striking Progressive-era optimism that Americans can be mobilized to address these challenges through both moral appeal and appeal to our enlightened self-interest.
Our kids is not the book-length version of the treatise below. But these could be packaged together in a nice boxed set.
PS–check out page 1 of Putnam’s book and the accompanying footnote…..