In this very special episode, Steve Hayward gets an origin story out of Charles Murray, surveying the sweep of his life from childhood in Iowa through Harvard, the Peace Corps in Asia, and evaluating social programs in the 1970s where his growing doubts and misgivings started him on the road to his many pathbreaking books. Along the way, Steve and Charles also talk about NASA and the Apollo program, which Charles and his wife Catherine also wrote a fine book about.

In this AEI Events Podcast, Charles Murray offers a retrospective of his career from a personal point of view.

Murray opens by discussing two places that had a lasting impact on his worldview: Newton, Iowa, where he was born and raised, and rural Thailand, where he spent five years as a Peace Corps volunteer and researcher. In different ways, both places taught him about the intimate relationship between local community and a meaningful, happy life.

Charles Murray speaks, Fox News’ James Rosen tweaks, and Ted Cruz tweets. Plus, Beyonce and Stevie Wonder remind us that pompous, liberal celebrities can ruin anything. And is it a coincidence that progressive-Left communities have the least regard for the value of citizenship?

Is America coming apart? Some days, it certainly seems so. Take the tumultuous 2016 election cycle, and add to it Brexit, fears over globalization and automation, a reaction on the left against Wall Street and the big banks, and a million other news items, and you have a brew that smells of a spoiling American — maybe even Western — economic, social, political, and cultural order. If America and the West are being exposed for their divisions between mainstream and elite, between those disenchanted by the 21st century and those eager to embrace it, we will need to pull some seriously innovative public policy and cultural levers to fix the situation. Will something like the universal basic income do the trick? What are we not thinking of that could?Few are better poised to answer these questions than award-winning intellectual Dr. Charles Murray, who seemed to prophecy many 2016 phenomena in his 2012 book Coming Apart:The State of White America, 1960-2010.


Dr. Charles Murray stops by to discuss his new book Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960 – 2010 and later, the WSJ’s James Taranto on politics, Rush, and the best place to buy a cigar in Manhattan.