Saving America from our culture of contempt

1960s hippie offering a flower to an MP

Saving America from our culture of contempt

Arthur C. Brooks, Melody Barnes (moderator), Allan C. Stam (moderator)

Monday, April 15, 2019
5:30PM - 6:45PM (EDT)
Event Details


“Political scientists have found that our nation is more polarized than it has been any time since the Civil War,” wrote Arthur C. Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, in a recent New York Times op-ed.

In his new book Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America from the Culture of Contempt (Broadside Books, 2019), Dr. Brooks—a best-selling author and social scientist—examines the current culture of contempt that has become synonymous with American politics. Drawing on ancient wisdom, cutting-edge behavioral science, and historical lessons, Brooks shows how we can bridge national divides and make progress as a society.

On Monday, April 15, Dr. Brooks will visit the University of Virginia for a presentation and discussion on Love Your Enemies. The event, co-sponsored by the Batten School, Miller Center, and Democracy Initiative, will begin with remarks by Brooks, followed by a moderated conversation with Batten School Dean Allan Stam and Melody Barnes, co-director of the Democracy Initiative, and an audience Q&A. A book signing will follow. Register for a seat below.

Monday, April 15, 2019
5:30PM - 6:45PM (EDT)
Nau Hall
1540 Jefferson Park Ave.
Charlottesville, VA 22903
Arthur Brooks headshot

Arthur C. Brooks

Brooks is president of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a public policy think tank in Washington, D.C., where he is also the Beth and Ravenel Curry Scholar in Free Enterprise. Before becoming president of AEI in 2009, Dr. Brooks was the Louis A. Bantle Professor of Business and Government at Syracuse University, where he taught economics and social entrepreneurship. Dr. Brooks is a columnist for The Washington Post, host of the podcast “The Arthur Brooks Show,” and the bestselling author of 11 books on topics including the role of government, economic opportunity, happiness, and the morality of free enterprise. His latest book, Love Your Enemies (Broadside Books, 2019), and a feature-length documentary, The Pursuit, will be released in spring 2019.

Melody Barnes headshot

Melody Barnes (moderator)

Barnes, professor of practice in public affairs and codirector of the University of Virginia's Democracy Initiative, is a co-founder and principal of MB² Solutions LLC, a domestic strategy firm. Barnes serves as an independent director on the boards of Ventas, Inc.; Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corporation; Public Policy Advisory Board; Uber; the Marguerite Casey Foundation; and Year Up. Barnes also chairs the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions and Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund. From January 2009 until January 2012, she was assistant to the president and director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. 

Allan Stam headshot

Allan C. Stam (moderator)

Stam is the dean of the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia. Previously he was director of the International Policy Center at the Gerald R Ford School of Public Policy and professor of political science and senior research scientist at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. Prior to moving to Michigan in 2007 he was the Daniel Webster Professor at Dartmouth College (2000–2007) and was assistant professor at Yale University (1996–2000). His research focuses on the dynamics of armed conflict between and within states. He holds a B.A. in government from Cornell University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Michigan.