“Robert D. Putnam is technically a Harvard social scientist, but a better description might be poet laureate of civil society,” a book review in the Sunday New York Times says. The review is of Putnam’s latest book, “Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis.”
Putnam’s book examines the inequality gap in the United States, drawing on both Putnam’s personal experiences and his academic research.
Putnam explains his work in an interview with PBS’ NewsHour, touching on a range of topics including poverty, persistent achievement gaps, and early education.
Here’s a selection of quotes from that interview. The bold emphasis is ours.
“America’s best investment ever, in the whole history of our country, was to invest in the public high school and secondary school at the beginning of the 20th century. It dramatically raised the growth rate of America because it was a huge investment in human capital. The best economic analyses now say that investment in the public high schools in 1910 accounted for all of the growth of the American economy between then and about 1970. That huge investment paid off for everybody. Everybody in America had a higher income.” (more…)