11.06.13 7:00PM @ - Lied Center Main Stage

“Who Stole the American Dream?”

Hedrick Smith, Author & Producer


Reporter Hedrick Smith spent 26 years at the New York Times, where he was among the team that produced the Pulitzer Prize-winning Pentagon Papers. He also spent several years as the Times’ Moscow bureau chief, for which he won a Pulitzer for international reporting from Russia and Eastern Europe. That experience also yielded his bestselling book “The Russians.” Another of his books, “The Power Game: How Washington Works,” is considered a modern classic and essential reading for DC’s power players. Since 1989, Smith has created more than two dozen primetime specials for PBS, on topics ranging from Duke Ellington’s Washington to “Inside the Terror Network.” He has won numerous awards—among them two Emmys—for this television work.

Lecture Summary

  • Smith’s book and lecture, “Who Stole the American Dream,” tells the story of how our nation moved from an era of middle class prosperity, power and effective bipartisan politics, to today's polarized politics, starkly unequal democracy, and gaping inequalities in the economy.
  • America’s middle class decline was not caused by globalization, advancing technology and market forces; rather, it was a result of power shifts in Washington politics by both parties that tilted government policy and created the greatest economic inequalities since 16th Century Spain.
  • Our recent economic recovery has not fixed economic inequality. Wall Street celebrates while Main Street stagnates. Today our democracy is starkly unequal.

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