Marian Miner Cook
Athenaeum

A distinctive
feature of social and
cultural life at CMC

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - Evening Program
Political Realism: How Hacks, Machines, Pork Barrel Spending and Back Room Deals Can Strengthen Our Democracy
Jonathan Rauch

What's causing the dysfunction in our government and the chaos in our politics? Jonathan Rauch, senior fellow at Brookings and a contributing writer for the Atlantic, argues that well-intentioned efforts to clean up politics backfired, and that party hacks and smoke-filled rooms are part of the solution.

Jonathan Rauch, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, is the author of seven books and many articles on public policy, culture, and government. He is a contributing writer for The Atlantic and recipient of the 2005 National Magazine Award, the magazine industry’s equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize. His latest book is The Happiness Curve: Why Life Gets Better After 50.

In 2013, he published Denial: My 25 Years Without a Soul, a memoir of his struggle with his sexuality, brought out as an ebook from The Atlantic Books. His previous book was Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America, published in 2004 by Times Books (Henry Holt). His most recent ebook is Political Realism: How Hacks, Machines, Big Money, and Back-Room Deals Can Strengthen American Democracy (Brookings, 2015). Although much of his writing has been on public policy, he has also written on topics as widely varied as adultery, agriculture, economics, gay marriage, height discrimination, biological rhythms, number inflation, and animal rights.

A graduate of Yale University, Rauch become a reporter for the Winston-Salem Journal in North Carolina before moving to Washington in 1984. From 1984-89 he covered fiscal and economic policy for National Journal. In 1990 he spent six months in Japan as a fellow of the Japan Society Leadership Program.

In addition to the National Magazine Award, his honors include the 2010 National Headliner Award, one of the industry’s most venerable prizes. In 1996 he was awarded the Premio Napoli alla Stampa Estera for his coverage, in The Economist, of the European Parliament. In 2011 he won the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association prize for excellence in opinion writing. He has also won two second-place prizes (2000 and 2001) in the National Headliner Awards. His articles appear in The Best Magazine Writing 2005 and The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2004 and 2007. He has appeared as a guest on many television and radio programs. 

Mr. Rauch’s Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Salvatori Center at CMC.

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