Amity Shlaes

The Great Society and its Enemies

The idea of socialism is taking on a renewed glow in this country. In the 1960s, socialism also enjoyed a degree of popularity, as did its compromise, the welfare state. Social democratic principles were the basis of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. Ronald Reagan made a career of opposing those principles. In her most recent bestseller, Great Society: A New HistoryAmity Shlaes argues that policies for social planning which were implemented in the name of the collective hurt both the nation and the individual. The result of these collective projects was a new Silent Majority. Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan has called the book “accurate history that reads like a novel.” In this presentation, Amity discussed her new book and gave us insight into our own struggles with these resurgent principles and especially with the good-hearted people who demonstrated bad judgement. 

Listen to Amity's interview with WGVU's Shelley Irwin here. 

Amity Shlaes clapping

guest with book

flowers on table

guests having lunch in meijer regency room

Amity Shlaes speaking at luncheon

tammy huizenga laughing

Cook Leadership Academy Student at luncheon

President Emeritus Mark Murray at luncheon

Hank Meijer, Amity Shlaes and Gleaves Whitney

attendee holding book

luncheon attendees mingling


student asking question

Gleaves Whitney speaking

Loosemore auditorium