University of Illinois at Chicago Office of Public Affairs (MC 288)
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CONSERVATIVE DINESH D'SOUZA TO DISCUSS 'AMERICAN GREATNESS'
Is America the greatest country in the world? Dinesh D'Souza will explore the topic of America's domination in a Sept. 21 lecture entitled "The Paradox of American Greatness." D'Souza is coming to campus at the invitation of Dean Stanley Fish to discuss whether "the global triumph of the American idea is a cause for celebration or mourning."
D'Souza was senior domestic policy analyst in the Reagan Administration. Widely known as a controversial conservative, he is the author of best-selling books including Illiberal Education (1991), The End of Racism (1995) and Ronald Reagan: How an Ordinary Man Became an Extraordinary Leader (1997).
According to D'Souza, "economic optimists" hold that America is indeed the greatest country, as evidenced by America's enviable economy, immigration rates, technology successes, and widespread imitation of U.S. culture and ideas.
"At the same time," explains D'Souza, "cultural pessimists like Judge Robert Bork point to many indices of deepening cultural decay -- apparently irreversible divorce rates, high crime and illegitimacy, the well-documented ignorance of America's young people, the coarse and vulgar tone of much of our popular culture.
"America, in this view, is 'slouching towards Gomorrah' and in this sense the Americanization of the world is hardly something to look forward to," says D'Souza. "So who is right?"
Dinesh D'Souza is a first-generation immigrant who came to the United States as an exchange student from India in 1978. He attended Dartmouth College, where he graduated Phi Beta Kapa in 1983. He served as a domestic policy analyst in the White House from 1987 to 1988. He became an American citizen in 1991.
He is currently at work on a book that focuses on the topic of his lecture. The lecture will be held Tuesday, Sept. 21, from 4:30 to 6 p.m., Chicago Circle Center, room 323, 750 S. Halsted. The lecture is free and open to the public.
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