Heather McGhee in Conversation with Alex Wagner

  • February 16, 2021

The author of The Sum of Us speaks virtually on Fri., Feb. 19th, at 8 p.m. (EST)!

Heather McGhee in Conversation with Alex Wagner

Heather McGhee’s specialty is the American economy and the mystery of why it so often fails the American public. From the financial crisis to rising student debt to collapsing public infrastructure, she found a common root problem: Racism. But not just in the most obvious indignities for people of color. Racism has costs for white people, too. It is the common denominator of our most vexing public problems, the core dysfunction of our democracy and constitutive of the spiritual and moral crises that grip us all. But how did this happen? And is there a way out?

The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together is a brilliant analysis of how we arrived here: divided and self-destructing, materially rich but spiritually starved and vastly unequal. McGhee marshals economic and sociological research to paint an irrefutable story of racism’s costs, but at the heart of the book are the humble stories of people yearning to be part of a better America, including white supremacy’s collateral victims: white people themselves. With startling empathy, this heartfelt message from a Black woman to a multiracial America leaves us with a new vision for a future in which we finally realize that life can be more than zero-sum.

McGhee will be in conversation with Alex Wagner, an anchor and correspondent at CBS News, co-anchoring CBS This Morning: Saturday and reporting stories throughout the week. She is also a contributing editor at the Atlantic and co-host of their weekly news and affairs podcast, Radio Atlantic. In April, she will release her first book, Futureface, which examines questions about American identity in the 21st century.

*Special bookplates signed by the author are available for those who purchase the book via this link (while supplies last).

Sponsored by Politics and Prose, Harvard Bookstore, and Books & Books. Click here to register.

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