'American Grace' author to speak in Squirrel Hill

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Robert D. Putnam, co-author of "American Grace: How Religion Unites and Divides Us," speaks at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Temple Sinai, 5505 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill.

His latest book won the 2011 Woodrow Wilson Award from the American Political Science Association. The co-author was David E. Campbell, a Notre Dame University professor.

Mr. Putnam, 71, is a professor of public policy at Harvard University and has consulted with the past three American presidents and the past three British prime ministers. He was educated at Swarthmore, Oxford and Yale universities. Raised as an observant Methodist, Mr. Putnam converted to Judaism at marriage in the 1960s.

"American Grace," now available in paperback, was based on years of research and surveys on religion in public life. The paperback edition contains new material and follow-up interviews with the original subjects. The author of 14 books, Mr. Putnam is well-known for his 2000 best-seller, "Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community."

He is at work on three projects: the growing class gap among young Americans and its implications for social mobility, the changing role of religion in the United States and Britain, and the social consequences of hard times in both of those countries.

A dessert reception follows Mr. Putnam's lecture. Copies of his book will be available for sale and signing. The event is free and the public is invited. Click here for details.

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