Christian McNamara is a researcher and lecturer at the Yale School of Management and has also worked as an attorney, social sector consultant, and executive director of a small youth development non-profit. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Harvard Law School. Christian lives with his wife and two children in Hamden, CT
For Quinones, the twin opioid and meth epidemics have their origins in the destruction of community. The decline of local institutions creates a vacuum of isolation and hopelessness in which drugs can gain a foothold, despite all efforts to keep them out. Reading The Least of Us, one is struck again and again by the seeming futility of efforts to solve the drug problem by limiting the available supply of illicit substances.
It is not because I bear Harvard any ill will that I wish we could all just shut up about it already. Rather, I am concerned that our national obsession with elite colleges is making many of us miserable, while at the same time distracting us from parts of the higher education landscape that are deserving of more attention.
The tragedy of the hold Hoover’s rugged individualism continues to have on the American psyche in our increasingly atomized age is that his formulation risks presenting a false dichotomy between state control over an increasingly large swath of our lives on the one hand and society as comprised of individual and independent actors on the other.