PLEDGE NOW
Charles Murray On White America

America’s coming apart around money and morals, says Charles Murray. He’s sparked a great debate about why. We’ll hear it.

Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 (Random House)

Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 (Random House)

Libertarian lightning rod Charles Murray knows how to whip up a big American debate.  His last time out was with “The Bell Curve” and an argument that IQ was destiny and poor Americans were going down.  Stephen Jay Gould called it “anachronistic social Darwinism.”

This time, Murray says America has broken into two worlds, elites and underclass.  The underclass has lost the “founding virtues” of faith, family, work.  Elites are to blame.  Critics say let’s just get some jobs for people.  Some opportunity.

This hour, On Point: the debate over America coming apart.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Charles Murray, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, he’s the author of Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010. You can find an excerpt here.

Joan Walsh, editor-at-large at Salon.com. You can find her review of Coming Apart here.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Wall Street Journal “The ideal of an ‘American way of life’ is fading as the working class falls further away from institutions like marriage and religion and the upper class becomes more isolated. Charles Murray on what’s cleaving America, and why.”

The New York Times “When Charles Murray and Richard J. Herrnstein’s book “The Bell Curve” appeared in 1994, it was denounced by social scientists, liberal pundits and a little-known Chicago civil-rights lawyer named Barack Obama, who in a commentary on NPR accused the authors of calculating that “white America is ready for a return to good old-fashioned racism as long as it’s artfully packaged.”

The New Republic “As Murray sees it, the working class has been hurt less by economic shifts that have made it hard for its members—particularly the male ones—to earn a good living than it has by a lamentable decline in industriousness and social values brought on by the upheavals of the 1960s. “

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
May 26, 2015
Blogger and activist Pamela Geller speaks at a conference she organized entitled “Stop Islamization of America,” in New York on Sept. 11, 2012. (David Karp/AP)

Two new books on free speech–one by a former New York Times correspondent, the other a Fox News contributor. They don’t see eye to eye—and tell us why.

May 26, 2015
The Last Unicorn, by William DeBuys

With guest host Jane Clayson. Endangered species and the search for one of the world’s rarest creatures deep into the wilds of central Laos. Guests William DeBuys, Conservationist and author of The Last Unicorn: A Search for One of Earth’s Rarest Creatures.  Azzedine Downes, CEO of the International Fund for Animal Welfare. (@AzzedineTDownes) Reading List The New York […]

RECENT
SHOWS
May 25, 2015
Violinist Regina Carter warms up in the On Point studio on Friday, October 17. (Robin Lubbock / WBUR)

Regina Carter turns her jazz violin down home with her new album “Southern Comfort.”

 
May 25, 2015
New York Times columnist David Brooks explores a history of American moral character in his new book, "The Road to Character." Former US Labor Secretary Frances Perkins (R), is one of the subjects he profiles in his books. (David Burnett / AP)

New York Times columnist David Brooks on finding moral character in a self-preoccupied society.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
A Former Bike Gang Member Explains "The Life"
Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Larry called in from Lawrenceburg, KY and told us he was once a member of the Pagan’s Motorcycle Club, a mid-Atlantic biker gang. He didn’t sugar coat the facts as he explained the draw of the brotherhood and what makes the outlaw motorcycle corner the underworld go round.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: May 15, 2015
Friday, May 15, 2015

We cancel a few hours and suddenly all of you get convinced of a global radio conspiracy! Plus, dragon zoos.

More »
1 Comment
 
Caller: ‘It Doesn’t Always Turn Out Okay’
Wednesday, May 13, 2015

One caller shares her own story of an extremely premature birth. Her daughter, born at 22 1/2 weeks in 2012, was taken off life support after seven days.

More »
Comment