William Damon

discusses

The Power of Ideals:
The Real Story of Moral Choice

This event includes a book signing

Date

Jun
10
Wednesday
June 10, 2015
7:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes Stanford professor and author of eighteen previous books WILLIAM DAMON for a discussion of his latest book, The Power of Ideals: The Real Story of Moral Choice, co-authored by Anne Colby.

Cynicism often seems a smarter choice than idealism. There are reasons for this. Politicians have disappointed us time and again; trusted institutions have proven to be self-serving and corrupt; hopes for lasting world peace repeatedly have been dashed; and social inequities persist and increase, unabated by even the grandest of charitable efforts. It is now considered foolish to think that people can be counted on to rise above their narrow self-interests to serve the broader good, or to tell the truth if it does not reflect well on the self. Supporting this bleak view of the human condition is a moral psychology that has taken increasingly cynical turns in recent years. Famous studies have shown that we have an almost unlimited potential for cruelty when placed in the wrong situations.

The Power of Ideals presents a different vision, supported by a different kind of evidence. It examines the lives and work of six 20th century moral leaders who pursued moral causes ranging from world peace to social justice and human rights. Using these six cases to illustrate how people can make choices guided by their moral convictions, rather than by base emotion or social pressures, authors William Damon and Anne Colby explore the workings of three virtues: inner truthfulness, humility, and faith. Through their portrayal of the noble lives of moral leaders, the authors argue that all of us--with ordinary lives--can exercise control over important life decisions and pursue ideals that we believe in.

William Damon
William Damon

William Damon

William Damon is Professor of Education at Stanford University and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace. He is an author of eighteen books, including Greater Expectations, which won the Parents' Choice Book Award. Damon's research has been covered in many national publications, including The Boston Globe, The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. His national talk show appearances include The Diane Rehm Show, Oprah!, The O'Reilly Factor, and Talk of the Nation.

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

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