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New York Times Writer Ross Douthat to Lead Discussion on Community and Conservatism

Ross DouthatOriginally planned as a summer conference at Pepperdine University’s Malibu campus, the Pepperdine School of Public Policy will host the first session in the Quest for Community: A Future for American Conservatism webinar series on the Zoom platform on Thursday, July 16, at 9 AM PDT. The inaugural session, moderated by Pete Peterson (MPP ’07), Braun Family Dean’s Chair at the Pepperdine School of Public Policy, will address the question, “Is communitarian conservatism relevant in an age of 'social distancing' and political polarization?”

Deriving its title from the late sociologist Robert Nisbet's foundational book, The Quest for Community, this series will feature leading thinkers, activists, and policy makers exploring the implications of renewing society’s appreciation for this long-standing tradition in conservative thought and policy.

Ross Douthat, New York Times columnist and cohost of the New York Times podcast, The Argument, will serve as the keynote speaker. Previously a senior editor at the Atlantic and a blogger on its website and current film critic for National Review, Douthat is the author of The Decadent Society: How We Became Victims of Our Own Success, published in March 2020. His other books include To Change the Church: Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism, Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics, and Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class.

Gracy Olmstead, a writer whose work has appeared in the American Conservative, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, will serve as the respondent. Olmstead is the author of the upcoming book, Uprooted: Recovering the Legacy of the Places We've Left Behind, scheduled to be published on March 16, 2021.

For additional information about this event, and to register to attend, visit the School of Public Policy website.