TACOMA, Wash. – E.J. Dionne Jr., acclaimed journalist and political commentator, will give a public lecture at University of Puget Sound.
The Brookings Institution senior fellow, NPR commentator, and Washington Post columnist will present “Our Divided Political Heart: The Battle for the American Idea in an Age of Discontent” on Tuesday, March 25, at 8 p.m., as part of the Susan Resneck Pierce Lecture series. Ticket and location information is below.
Dubbed by TIME magazine as a “radical centrist,” Dionne offers reasoned analysis of topics that impassion and infuriate both the right and the left. His talent for elevating the level of public discourse has earned him respect across the political spectrum.
Of Our Divided Political Heart, his most recent book and the title of his lecture, Publishers Weekly wrote, “Tea Partiers and Occupiers alike may be surprised and enlightened by this lucid analysis, all the more convincing for its sympathetic treatment of both sides of the argument.” The book investigates the popular idea of Americans as “rugged individualists” through our nation’s history and modern times, arguing that the true American tradition is a balance between our love of individualism and our devotion to the community.
In his earlier book, Why Americans Hate Politics, Dionne revealed in his introduction one of the tenets that framed his political thinking.
“Ideas shape politics far more than most accounts of public life usually allow,” he wrote. “I believe ideas matter not only to elites and intellectuals, but also to rank and file voters. Indeed, I often think that the rank and file see the importance of ideas more clearly than the elites, who often find themselves surprised by the rise of the movements that arise from the bottom up and shape our politics.”
A popular commentator on National Public Radio, MSNBC television, and NBC’s Meet the Press, Dionne is a professor at the Georgetown University Public Policy Institute and a senior research fellow at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire.
He is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and the recipient of honors including the Empathy Award from the Volunteers of America (2002), the National Human Services Assembly’s Award for Excellence by a Member of the Media (2004), and The Sidney Hillman Foundation’s Hillman Award for Career Achievement (2011). In 1997 he was named one of the 25 most influential Washington journalists by the National Journal.
His Washington Post column runs in more than 100 newspapers in the United States and abroad. Dionne also is the author of five books, including Souled Out: Reclaiming Faith and Politics After the Religious Right (2008); They Only Look Dead: Why Progressives Will Dominate the Next Political Era (1996); and the best-selling Why Americans Hate Politics (1991), which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.
A native of Massachusetts, Eugene Joseph “E.J.” Dionne Jr. earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Harvard University and a doctorate from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He wrote for The New York Times for 14 years, before joining The Washington Post.
The evening with E.J. Dionne is sponsored by the Susan Resneck Pierce Lectures in Public Affairs and the Arts, University of Puget Sound's premier lecture series. The series brings intellectuals, public figures, writers, and artists to the university to present challenging ideas that stimulate further exploration and discussion on campus.
Past Pierce lecturers have included Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz; Nobel Prize laureate Wole Soyinka; economist Robert Reich; author Carlos Fuentes; psychiatrist Kay Redfield Jamison; filmmaker Spike Lee; the Hon. Cory Booker, former mayor of Newark, N.J.; political commentator David Brooks; The New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman; playwright Edward Albee; race and religion scholar Cornel West; musician Philip Glass; playwright Suzan-Lori Parks; and dancer and choreographer Twyla Tharp.
FOR TICKETS order online at http://tickets.pugetsound.edu. Admission is $20 for the general public. Advance purchase is advised. Complimentary tickets are available to Puget Sound students, faculty, and staff. Any remaining tickets will be available at the door.
Press photos of E.J. Dionne can be downloaded from: www.pugetsound.edu/pressphotos
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