Episode 39, available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and YouTube


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Glenn Loury is an economist, an essayist, and is the Merton P. Stoltz Professor of the Social Sciences and Professor of Economics at Brown University. During our conversation, Glenn talks about his upbringing in the South Side of Chicago, his "Good Will Hunting-like" trajectory from inner-city black urban life to receiving his PhD in economics from MIT, and his becoming the first tenured African American economics professor in the history of Harvard University, at age 33.

Glenn discusses the ideas in his class "Free Inquiry in the Modern World" and his article "The Case for Black Patriotism." He also provides an emphatic defense of Western civilization and Western values, speaks to what's beautiful about America, why it matters in the world, and why maintaining doubt is crucial to an examined life.

Glenn is a descendent of slaves. He's one of the U.S.'s top intellectuals, and he has lived "The American Dream." What I admire most about him is his independence of thought, his willingness to affirm his beliefs, especially when they're unfashionable, his decency and his humanity, and his clarity on the importance of appreciating and honoring our cultural inheritance.

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Time Stamps:

(00:00) Introduction
(02:37) Get to know Glenn Loury
(05:48) South Side of Chicago culture when Glenn was a boy
(08:03) Fatherhood at 18, working at RR Donnelley & Sons, and Mr. Andres
(16:58) Opportunity launches Glenn to Northwestern and MIT
(21:26) The culture and opportunity of MIT
(30:40) Becoming the first African-American tenured economics professor in Harvard, at 33
(39:22) Glenn's interest in politics and his heterodox political philosophy
(49:36) A memorable incident with Glenn's uncle Alfred
(57:27) How Glenn's conservatism informs his views on the campus
(1:03:49) Glenn's defense of Western culture
(1:08:35) The pushback against Western Civilization
(1:16:40) "The Case for Black Patriotism"
(1:25:09) An American Living "The American Dream"

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