The Corner

Who Are We?

Beneath the surface of almost every issue and debate in our politics lay some profound but largely unexamined questions about how the American people should understand themselves and their place. Who is the American, and what constitutes the American character? The role of these questions is obvious in the immigration debate, for instance, but they’re no less crucial to making sense of arguments about the war with radical Islam, the health of the culture, the future of the family, the size and scope of government, and other familiar dilemmas.

This year’s Bradley Symposium, organized by the Bradley Foundation and the Hudson Institute, will be devoted to getting at that underlying question—“who are we today?” John McWhorter, Richard John Neuhaus, and Wilfred McClay have been asked to offer their thoughts in writing—articles on the subject by the first two have appeared in the last two issues of National Review, and the third is soon to come. And at the May 3rd symposium in Washington, McWhorter and Neuhaus will be joined by John O’Sullivan, Stephan Thernstrom, James Q. Wilson, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, David Blankenhorn, Linda Chavez, Ross Douthat, and (greatly humbled by the company) myself for a discussion moderated by Hudson’s Amy Kass. You can register or get more details here.

Yuval Levin is the director of social, cultural, and constitutional studies at the American Enterprise Institute and the editor of National Affairs.


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