Anthony Kronman, the former dean of Yale Law School, thinks colleges have gone overboard in their quests for equality. Instead of burying the bits of our country’s history that are embarrassing or imperfect, students should be toughening their skins.
Kronman is no stranger to university confrontations and even had a colleague resign over emails about Halloween costumes. He doesn’t see this as free speech being squashed but rather as it being a threat to our democracy.
As Kronman argues in The Assault on American Excellence, the country’s founders learned that in order to have a robust democratic government, its citizens have to be taught to have thick skins, to make up their own minds, and to win arguments — not arguments based on emotion, but on truth. In other words, people need to be smart fighters and think clearly so they’re not manipulated by demagogues.
Kronman writes warmly and optimistically; he’s a humanist and a lover of the humanities who is passionate about educating students capable of living up to the demands of a thriving democracy. The Assault on American Excellence makes the radical argument that to graduate as good citizens, college students have to be tested in a system that isn’t wholly focused on being good to them.
He has previously written books about law, legal ethics, and education, plus an exploration of his personal theology, Confessions of a Born-Again Pagan.
An author reception will be held beforehand; tickets are $75 and include a book and a premium reserved seat. Doors at the City Opera House open at 6:00 PM for music, Morsels, and a cash bar. The stage event begins at 7:00 PM and will be followed by a book signing. Books will be available for purchase.