Paul Starr is Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Prince­ton and founding co-editor of The American Prospect. His books include Entrenchment: Wealth, Power, and the Constitution of Democratic Societies. (September 2019)


The Battle for the Suburbs

President Trump waving to supporters after a reelection campaign rally, Montoursville, Pennsylvania, May 2019

Why Cities Lose: The Deep Roots of the Urban-Rural Political Divide

by Jonathan Rodden
Cities dominate cultural life and the economy no less today than they have for centuries. They are still the principal centers of intellectual ferment, artistic creativity, and social innovation despite the decentralizing potential of the Internet. In fact, while rural areas and small towns have been stagnant and declining in …

Fall from Grace

Members of the BuzzFeed staff at the company’s headquarters a month before major layoffs were announced, New York City, December 2018

Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts

by Jill Abramson

Network Propaganda: Manipulation, Disinformation, and Radicalization in American Politics

by Yochai Benkler, Robert Faris, and Hal Roberts
Since the early 2000s, journalism has been a precarious and embattled profession. The news industry has suffered staggering losses of revenue and employment, and journalists have become the targets of scorn and even hatred. The entire field has been politically reconfigured, as media outlets identified with different ideological positions provide their audiences with alternative versions of reality. The profession’s fall from grace and the industry’s transformation have been all the more dramatic because of the advantages the news media enjoyed in the late twentieth century.

A Different Road to a Fair Society

Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese’s film The Wolf of Wall Street, 2013

The Society of Equals

by Pierre Rosanvallon, translated from the French by Arthur Goldhammer
The sharp rise in inequality since the 1970s has created two puzzles. The first is an intellectual puzzle concerning the root causes of the widening gap in income and wealth, its social consequences, and its moral significance. The second is a practical and political puzzle, at least for those who …

Liberalism for Now

Ronald Dworkin, New York City, 2001; photograph by Dominique Nabokov

Is Democracy Possible Here? Principles for a New Political Debate

by Ronald Dworkin
The years leading up to the 2008 election were not a promising time for a liberal politician or a liberal philosopher to seek common ground with conservatives. The country was split, according to the conventional image, between red and blue states, reflecting two hostile cultures and worldviews. In 2004, Karl …