We take for granted that America is the world’s preeminent superpower, with hegemony abroad and prosperity at home. But how did we get here? And what does it mean for the US to use its superpower status to be a world leader?

In his new book, “Burdens of Freedom: Cultural Difference and American Power,” and in this 2016 Bradley Lecture, Professor Lawrence Mead argues that the basis of American wealth and power is an individualist culture. Threats to such a culture, Mead contends, are the primary challenges facing America as it tries to navigate its role as a leader on the world stage.

This lecture was originally delivered at AEI in February 2016.

To view a full list of the Bradley Lectures, see the Bradley Lectures page on the AEI website.


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