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About Perilous Times

Welcome to Perilous Times. You are living in them - that is for sure.

I want to use this platform to help people understand the unprecedented dangers of the times in which we are living and inspire them to take action to address the vital challenges we are facing.

The calamities of recent years are unprecedented in my lifetime.

Democratic norms are eroding in the United States and around the world.

We face global environmental, economic and equity challenges unlike anything experienced since the end of the second World War.

And the polluted, corrupted information environment is undermining the capacity of our society to gain a shared understanding of the truth, without which it becomes impossible to muster the will to address our problems.

We can either continue the gradual degradation of our institutions and quality of life, or get motivated to take action and address the tough, but solvable, problem we are facing.

Perilous Times will be a wide-ranging discussion about these aspects of modern life and a frank, candid assessment of those who are trying to address our problems and those that are making them worse.

Sometimes I’ll write about politics, policy and the law. Sometimes I’ll write about technology and communications. Sometimes I’ll critique the ideas of those who write and think about the things I care about. And sometimes I’ll delve into the things we need to do to fix our problems and secure a better future.

I want to share my ideas with you and hear your thoughts. I hope you will subscribe and spread the words to your friends and family.

Everything I am publishing is free. I am much more interested in the ideas than making a buck.

A bit about me …

I am writing this newsletter because I am worried about the future. Very worried.

Worrying and fretting is not enough. We all have to stand up. We all have to do something.

Writing this column is one of the ways I am going to do my part - to say what is happening in plain, convincing, common-sense language. Tell the truth over falsehoods - from wherever they are coming. Help come up with solutions and amplify the good ideas that are coming from others.

I have been so lucky to have a platform for exchanging ideas as a professor at a great university and school of public policy. And I’m also fortunate to have had exposure to our national policymaking and key governmental institutions in the first phase of my career.

But given our Perilous Times, teaching my students and opining once in a while in some media outlet just is not enough. And tempering my voice to what is going to sound reasonable and suitable for a mass audience is just no longer in sync with the “fierce urgency” of the times in which we live.

I’m ready to go for it. For my children. For my young brilliant students. For the future.

Thanks for reading Perilous Times! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.


David Schanzer
Professor of Public Policy at Duke University and commentator on issues relating to extremism, political violence, polarization and the ills that result from them...