Monday, September 10, 2007

Interview: Anne-Marie Slaughter

Anne-Marie Slaughter is Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the Bert G. Kerstetter '66 University Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University. Her most recent book is The Idea That Is America: Keeping Faith with Our Values in a Dangerous World.

She answered some questions about the new book that were put to her by the political scientist Andrew Grant-Thomas. See their exchange at Author Interviews.

Slaughter also responded to a question of my own:
What's a question that you haven't been asked about the book that you wish someone would ask? And what's the answer?

The question I would like to be asked is "what should readers do who agree with the message of this book and want to act on it." And the answer is, "spread the message." Suggest the book to your book club, or to your email list, or your church group, or, if you are a member of the military, to groups on the base, or your family members, or to high school teachers you know. Join a movement for civic literacy, to teach our fellow citizens and above all our kids about our values as a nation -- not in terms of "these are the great characteristics of our nation and aren't we wonderful" but in terms of "these are our aspirations as a nation, the aspirations of our founders and of great Americans through our history, the aspirations we must try to live up to." And if you have friends abroad, tell them as well -- to give many people in other countries, who love what we are supposed to stand for but are deeply disappointed in us, a different idea of America than what they have seen over the past decade. Above all, in this election season, ask our candidates -- for Congress, for the presidency, for state legislatures and governors -- how they plan to live up to the values they preach in their speeches. Remember, we are all values voters, and it is our task to think through what we value and to choose leaders who will give us a government that makes and implements policies that actually reflect what we value. You may disagree with the values I have listed, and how I have defined them, but then join a great national conversation.
Check out the complete interview.

Read an excerpt and learn more about The Idea That Is America at the publisher's website.

Watch Anne-Marie Slaughter on the Colbert Report.

Author Interviews: Anne-Marie Slaughter.

--Marshal Zeringue