Boston Book Festival 2020 Boston Book Festival 2020
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Monday, October 5, 2020

- EDT
Opening Keynote
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Michael J. Sandel
Michael J. Sandel
The Tyranny of Merit

In The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good? political philosopher and academic rockstar Michael J. Sandel explains how belief in a meritocratic ideal has had a corrosive effect on the dignity of work and has left many in our society feeling humiliated and resentful. America’s bedrock belief that hard work and talent allows people to rise is belied by the facts: it is easier to rise from poverty in Canada, Germany, Denmark, and other European countries than in the United States. The winners in our society hold the smug conviction that they deserve success and that the losers, too, deserve their fate. This attitude has led us in a straight line to the election of Donald Trump. Sandel posits that there should be an equality of condition in America, one that allows those without great power or prestige to also live with dignity and the esteem of others. This is a message we all need to hear. Join Michael Sandel in conversation with the Emmy and Peabody Award–winning host of WBUR’s Here & Now, Robin Young. 90.9 WBUR is the media sponsor of this session.