WSU Presentation to Discuss Bringing America Together

OGDEN, Utah — Weber State University’s Office of Interdisciplinary Collaborations and the Olene S. Walker Institute of Politics & Public Service will host Robert Putnam and Shaylyn Romney Garrett to discuss their new book, “The Upswing: How America Came Together a Century Ago and How We Can Do it Again,” Oct. 25 at 12:30

The event will be held in a hybrid format, Putnam will join the discussion virtually, and Romney Garrett will attend in person. The campus community is invited to join either in the Shepherd Union Wildcat Theater, or virtually at this link.

Putnam, the Malkin Research Professor of Public Policy at Harvard, is author of 15 books including the best-selling “Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community,” “Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis” and is co-author of “American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us.” 

Romney Garrett, a graduate of Harvard University, is a writer and social entrepreneur. Her non-profit initiatives have been featured in the New York Times and the Harvard Business Review.

Their new co-authored book, “The Upswing,” explains “how we have gone from an individualistic ‘I’ society to a more communitarian ‘We’ society and then back again, and how we can learn from that experience to become a stronger, more unified nation.” 

Director of WSU’s new Office of Interdisciplinary Collaborations and professor of history Susan Matt said the historical perspective provides hope that with effort, the future of America could include greater unity.

"Putnam has long been a leading expert on the importance of community — showing us why community matters, what strengthens it and how to grapple with the polarization, apathy and inequality that so often threatens it,” she said. “Examining how earlier generations had strengthened their communities, seems like an important campus conversation."

The Wall Street Journal described the book as "sweeping yet remarkably accessible,” noting that “Mr. Putnam and Ms. Garrett provide a crucial missing ingredient in contemporary social commentary: They lay out a sociology of success that, drawing on our history, can help us think concretely about how to enable a revival of American life."

The event is co-sponsored by Convocations, the Engaged Learning Series and the Lindquist College of Arts & Humanities. 

Join the webinar at this link. Passcode: 909074

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Susan Matt, Office of Interdisciplinary Collaborations director
801-626-7325 •


Allison Barlow Hess, Public Relations director
801-626-7948 •