It’s the American dream: get a good education, work hard, buy a house, and achieve prosperity and success. This is the America we believe in — a nation of opportunity, constrained only by ability and effort. But during the last 25 years we have seen a disturbing “opportunity gap” emerge. Americans have always believed in equality of opportunity, the idea that all kids, regardless of their family background, should have a decent chance to improve their lot in life. Now, this central tenet of the American dream seems no longer true or at the least, much less true than it was. Robert Putnam, best-selling author of Bowling Alone, elaborates on the trends that are shaping our national identity.
- 2015 Festival