SERIES: Governing Ideas | Number 25 of 28 « Previous | Next »

May 15

Past Event

Is America in Decline?

Event Materials


Brookings Multimedia content requires JavaScript. Your browser either doesn't have JavaScript or doesn't have it enabled.

Instructions to enable JavaScript.


Debilitating political polarization, crushing public debt, a toothless campaign finance system, dysfunctional schools, crumbling infrastructure, a shifting economic landscape, rising health care costs and declining median household incomes – these are some of the many problems Edward Luce details in his new book, Time to Start Thinking: America in the Age of Descent (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2012). Many will argue, however (and many have), that “declinism” has been wrong in the past and America’s ability for self-renewal will prove the alarmists wrong again. Regardless of whether our nation’s problems are insurmountable, Luce poses questions worth serious consideration.

On May 15, Brookings Senior Fellow William Galston moderated a discussion of Time to Start Thinking, which is based on Luce’s meticulous journalism and bolstered by interviews with senior White House officials, U.S. senators and the chief executives of some of America’s top companies.  Ezra Klein, columnist for the Washington Post joined the conversation.

This event is part of the Governing Ideas series intended to broaden the discussion of governance issues through forums on timely and relevant books on history, culture, legal norms and practices, values and religion. After the program, panelists took audience questions. 


  • William A. Galston

    Senior Fellow, Governance Studies

    The Ezra K. Zilkha Chair in Governance Studies

  • Edward Luce

    Chief U.S. Columnist

    Financial Times

  • Glenn Hutchins

    Co-Founder, Silver Lake

    Vice Chairman, The Brookings Institution

  • Ezra Klein


    Washington Post


May 15, 2012

2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EDT

Brookings Institution

Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.


For More Information

Brookings Office of Communications


SERIES: Governing Ideas | Number 25