On Character
Essays by James Q. Wilson, Expanded Edition

James Q. Wilson is the former president of the American Political Science Association and adviser to four presidents on issues related to crime, drug abuse, education and other crises of American cutlure. In this book he has produced a provocative series of essays related to character development and character policy that sets this important area in perspective. He brings his argument into clear focus by negating that public discussion of character is a conservative pasttime. Rather, the development of character is our collective responsibility. The public interest depends on private virtue.

Wilson argues throughout these essays that to have good character one needs to have at least developed a sense of empathy and self control. In various chapters he writes about crime, families, communities and schooling with those two traits--empathy and self-control--as a basis. He presents the current crises of our community in clear perspective: how much can society tolerate? what is the role of the police? the family? what is a moral virtue? Wilson concludes with an argument that all humans have an inborn "moral sense". We are, after all, social beings, dependent on each other and we have an obligation to each other to develop that moral sense if we care about each other. This is a well written, reasoned book by a wise and experienced expert.

James Q. Wilson is a professor of management at the University of California-Los Angeles.

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    FRI
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Graduation day: How dads’ involvement impacts higher education success

Join a diverse group of panelists — including sociologists, education experts, and students — for a discussion of how public policy and culture can help families lay a firmer foundation for their children’s educational success, and of how the effects of paternal involvement vary by socioeconomic background.

Event Registration is Closed
Thursday, April 24, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Getting it right: A better strategy to defeat al Qaeda

This event will coincide with the release of a new report by AEI’s Mary Habeck, which analyzes why current national security policy is failing to stop the advancement of al Qaeda and its affiliates and what the US can do to develop a successful strategy to defeat this enemy.

Friday, April 25, 2014 | 9:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Obamacare’s rocky start and uncertain future

During this event, experts with many different views on the ACA will offer their predictions for the future.   

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No events scheduled this day.