Anger's Not the Answer: Peter Wood on NPR

Ashley Thorne

Today NAS president Peter Wood appeared on National Public Radio on a show titled “America’s Anger Problem?” He was interviewed by Tom Ashbrook for the program On Point, together with Paul Starobin, staff correspondent at National Journal and contributing editor at The Atlantic. 

Starobin believes that there has always been anger, but now more than ever there are great provocations to anger. He believes the answer is to use that anger to get into politics, organize, and speak out against injustice. Dr. Wood argues essentially the opposite position: that there have always been provocations but now more than ever expressions of anger are in vogue. The best we can hope for, he says, is for a new generation to recall us to the virtues of tranquility and perseverance.  

His view is not a popular one, as is evidenced in the show and in the comments on the show’s website, but we believe America could benefit from learning some self-discipline and composure. Here at NAS where we work to foster reasoned scholarship and civil debate in colleges and universities, we see that rashness and fury have no place in the academy. The only way to advance the pursuit of sound knowledge is to do so in an open-minded, lucid way, with strength of mind and will.  

To listen to the show, click here and then click the “Listen to this show” button at the top of the page.  

Click here to purchase Peter Wood’s book, A Bee in the Mouth: Anger in America Now

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