Amy Gutmann and Dennis F. Thompson: The Spirit of Compromise

Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 6:30 p.m.



$10 non-members
$7 members, students & teachers
FREE for 1787 members

F.M. Kirby Auditorium

National Constitution Center

525 Arch Street | Independence Mall

Will members of Congress change their minds about compromise, or do voters need to change the members of Congress? Eminent political thinkers Amy Gutmann and Dennis F. Thompson speak with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell about their forthcoming book The Spirit of Compromise: Why Governing Demands It and Campaigning Undermines It, which explores whether government leaders can overcome partisan divides for the benefit of all citizens.


  • Amy Gutmann is president of the University of Pennsylvania, where she is also the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science. She has been awarded the Harvard University Centennial Medal (2003), the Carnegie Corporation Academic Leadership Award (2009), and she was named by Newsweek as one of the “150 Women Who Shake the World” (2011). She is an elected member of the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Education, and is W.E.B. DuBois Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. She served as president of the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy. Dr. Gutmann is also a member of the National Constitution Center’s Board of Trustees. 
  • Dennis F. Thompson is a professor of government and the Alfred North Whitehead Professor of Political Philosophy in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. He is also a professor of public policy in the John F. Kennedy School of Government and the founding director of the University Center for Ethics and the Professions (now the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics). He has served as associate provost and senior adviser to the president of the university. Professor Thompson is the author of several articles and books including two co-authored with Dr. Gutmann: Why Deliberative Democracy? and Democracy and Disagreement.
  • Andrea Mitchell is NBC’s chief foreign affairs correspondent and the host of MSNBC’S Andrea Mitchell Reports. She is covering the 2012 campaign for NBC News and MSNBC. In addition to hosting her daily program, Mitchell covers foreign policy, intelligence and national security issues, traveling with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and reporting from hotspots around the world. She is the author of Talking Back: … To Presidents, Dictators, and Assorted Scoundrels, a memoir about her experiences covering five presidents, Congress, and foreign policy. Among other awards, Mitchell has received the prestigious Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, the National Press Foundation 2010 Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism, and the Radio-Television News Directors Foundation Zeidenberg Award for protecting the First Amendment





  • A book sale and signing with Amy Gutmann and Dennis F. Thompson will follow the program.
  • Parking is available for $9.00 at the National Constitution Center parking garage located at the rear of the building on Race Street between 5th and 6th Streets.
  • Advance reservations required; call 215.409.6700 or order online. Please note that this program is subject to change; call the National Constitution Center or check our website for updated information. National Constitution Center programs begin promptly and latecomers may not be admitted.


How to Free Congress’s Mind

Watch the live webcast of this event here.


This event is part of Election 2012, the Center’s yearlong programming series on the key issues facing Americans during this important election year.


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