Salvatori Center To Bring Authors Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom

Abigail Thernstrom, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute in New York and a member of the Massachusetts State Board of Education, along with Stephan Thernstrom, the Winthrop Professor of History at Harvard University, will visit the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum on Tuesday, Nov. 1, for their discussion “Let’s Talk About Segregation.’” The public portion of the program begins at 6:45 p.m. Seating is free, on a first-come basis.

The Thernstroms are the co-authors of America in Black and White: One Nation, Indivisible, cited by The New York Times Book Review as one of the most notable books of 1997. Their recent book, No Excuses: Closing the Racial Gap in Learning, was published by Simon & Schuster in October 2003. They also served as editors of Beyond the Color Line: New Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity.

In their discussion, Harvard historian Stephan Thernstrom is expected to address racial clustering in neighborhoods and schools, examining whether black residential concentrations today are radically different from those of Jews, Korean, and other groups. Abigail Thernstrom, who also serves as vice-chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, will explore current public policy, emphasizing in particular the role of the federal government in separating black and Hispanic voters into their own electoral districts, and the consequences of doing so.

Abigail Thernstrom’s 1987 work, Whose Votes Count? Affirmative Action and Minority Voting Rights (Harvard University Press) earned four awards, including the American Bar Association’s Certificate of Merit, and the Anisfield-Wolf prize for the best book on race and ethnicity. She has appeared on Fox News Sunday, Good Morning America, and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. She is a former stringer for The Economist, and writes frequently for a variety of journals and newspapers including The New Republic, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.

She was selected by President Clinton as one of three authors to participate in his first Town Meeting on Race in Akron, Ohio, in 1997. She received her Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Stephan Thernstrom graduated with honors from Northwestern University, and earned his doctorate at Harvard, where he teaches American social history. His career has included teaching appointments at Brandeis University, the University of California, Los Angeles, Cambridge University, and Trinity College.