She was a special assistant to President Ronald Reagan from 1984 to 1986; in 1988, she was chief speechwriter to Vice President George Bush during his campaign for the presidency. She is currently a columnist & contributing editor at The Wall Street Journal & a political contributor for Fox News. She lives in New York City.
Pulitzer Prize-winner Toni Morrison is one of today's leading novelists, as well as a writer whose African American identity has helped shape her impressive literary contributions. As Jean Strouse, who wrote a Newsweek cover story about her, says, "Morrison hates it when people say she is not a "black writer."' "Of course I'm a black writer. That's like saying Dostoevski's not a Russian writer. They mean I'm not just a black writer, but categories like black writer, woman writer, and Latin American writer aren't marginal anymore. We have to acknowledge that the thing we call "literature' is pluralistic now, just as society ought to be." Toni Morrison's novels show a steady progression not only in artistic skill but also in the range and scope of her subjects and settings. The first three take place in African American communities in dominantly white Lorain, Ohio, where Toni Morrison, as Chloe Anthony Wofford, grew up as a member of a stable family of six headed by a father who often worked three jobs simultaneously in order to support his family during the Depression years. She graduated from Howard University and received a master's degree from Cornell University with her thesis on the theme of suicide in modern literature. She teaches writing at Princeton University. Her first novel, The Bluest Eye (1970), is an experimental work that begins haltingly with the Dick-and-Jane language of a grade school primer and slowly develops into a poetically tragic story of a little African American girl, and, by extension, the tragedy of racism, sexual violence, and black self-hatred. Her second novel, Sula (1973), is the story of two women whose deep early friendship is severely tested when one of them returns after a 10-year absence as "a classic type of evil force" to disrupt the community. Song of Solomon (1977) has as central characters a young man named Milkman and his nemesis, Guitar, whose fates are as inextricably linked as those of the young women in Sula. Song of Solomon is a thoughtful work rich in symbols and mythical in its implications as it portrays the complicated hidden histories of African Americans. Yet the book is readable enough to have been chosen a main selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club and as winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for 1977. In Tar Baby (1981) Morrison extends her range to an island in the Caribbean and for the first time allows white characters to play prominent roles along with the black. Tar Baby is essentially a novel of ideas, but the ideas again are conveyed along with a fast-moving narrative with credible characters. She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Beloved (1987), a brilliant novel about a fugitive slave woman who murders her infant, Beloved, so that the child will not grow up to become a slave. Her most recent novel, Jazz (1990), continues her powerful explorations of African American communities.
Robert Kuttner is theNew York Timesbestselling author of,Obama's Challenge: America's Economic Crisis and the Power of a Transformative Presidency, is cofounder and coeditor ofThe American Prospectmagazine, as well as a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the think tank Demos. He was a longtime columnist forBusinessWeek, and continues to write columns in theBoston Globe.His previous and widely praised books includeThe Squandering of America: How the Failure of Our Politics Undermines Our Prosperity; Everything for Sale: The Virtues and Limits of Markets(about which Robert Heilbroner wrote, "I have never seen the market system better described, more intelligently appreciated, or more trenchantly criticized than inEverything for Sale");The End of Laissez-Faire: National Purpose and the Global Economy After the Cold War; andThe Economic Illusion: False Choices Between Prosperity and Social Justice. Kuttner"s magazine writing has appeared inThe New York Times MagazineandBook Review, The Atlantic, The New Republic, The New Yorker, Dissent, Columbia Journalism Review, andHarvard Business Review. He has contributed major articles toThe New England Journal of Medicineas a national policy correspondent. Formerly an assistant to the legendary I.F. Stone, chief investigator for the Senate Banking Committee,Washington Poststaff writer, economics editor forThe New Republic, and university lecturer, Kuttner's decades-long intellectual and political project has been to revive the politics and economics of harnessing capitalism to serve a broad public interest.
Yoshihiro Francis Fukuyama was born October 27, 1952 in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. Fukuyama received his Bachelor of Arts degree in classics from Cornell University, where he studied political philosophy under Allan Bloom. He initially pursued graduate studies in comparative literature at Yale University, going to Paris for six months to study under Roland Barthes and Jacques Derrida, but became disillusioned and switched to political science at Harvard University. There, he studied with Samuel P. Huntington and Harvey Mansfield, among others. He earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard for his thesis on Soviet threats to intervene in the Middle East. In 1979, he joined the global policy think tank RAND Corporation. Fukuyama was the Omer L. and Nancy Hirst Professor of Public Policy in the School of Public Policy at George Mason University from 1996 to 2000. Until July 10, 2010, he was the Bernard L. Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy and Director of the International Development Program at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University, located in Washington, D.C. He is now Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow and resident in the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. Fukuyama is best known as the author of The End of History and the Last Man, in which he argued that the progression of human history as a struggle between ideologies is largely at an end, with the world settling on liberal democracy after the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Fukuyama predicted the eventual global triumph of political and economic liberalism. He has written a number of other books, among them Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity and Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution. His latest work The Origins of Political Order: From Prehistoric Times to the French Revolution made Publisher's Weekly Best Seller's List for 2011.