January 17, 2020

Bob Garfield

Harvard Book Store welcomes BOB GARFIELD—cohost of WNYC’s weekly Peabody Award–winning On the Media—for a discussion of his latest book, American Manifesto: Saving Democracy from Villains, Vandals, and Ourselves. He will be joined in conversation by WGBH correspondent ARUN RATH.


As is often observed, Trump is a symptom of a virus that has been incubating for at least fifty years. But not often observed is where the virus is imbedded: in the psychic core of our identity. In American Manifesto: Saving Democracy from Villains, Vandals, and Ourselves, Bob Garfield examines the tragic confluence of the American preoccupation with identity and the catastrophic disintegration of the mass media. Garfield investigates how we’ve gotten to this moment when our identity is threatened by both the left and the right, when e pluribus unum is no longer a source of national pride, and why, when looking through this lens of identity, the rise of Trumpism is no surprise. Overlaying that crisis is the rise of the Facebook-Google duopoly and the filter-bubble archipelago where identity is tribal and immutable.

 A quick, fascinating read, American Manifesto offers not only a vision “of a country in extremis,” but also a plan for how to address the ways in which our democracy is imperiled. American Manifesto is a call to action, unmistakable and provocative.

About Author(s)

Bob Garfield is the cohost of public radio’s weekly Peabody Award–winning On the Media. Garfield has been a columnist and contributing editor for The Washington Post MagazineThe Guardian, and USA Today. He has also written for The New York TimesPlayboyThe AtlanticSports Illustrated, and Wired. He lives in the Washington, D.C., area.

Arun Rath is a shared correspondent for NPR and Boston-based public broadcaster WGBH News. He is based in the WGBH newsroom and his time is divided between filing national stories for NPR and local stories for WGBH News. He previously served as weekend host of All Things Considered.