For 15 years, James Q. Wilson, who passed away in March 2012, delivered an enormously popular annual lecture for the Manhattan Institute. The impressive variety of his topics—the criminal-justice system, the roots of terrorism,
the role of the media in shaping public opinion, and the nature of democracy, to name just a few—reflected his wide-ranging intellect, and the size of the audiences that attended testified to a long and admiring relationship
between Professor Wilson and the Manhattan Institute.
Wilson, a former professor at Harvard University and UCLA, wrote many books, among them The Moral Sense and The Marriage Problem. His public service included the chairmanship of the White House Task Force on Crime in 1966
and the National Advisory Commission on Drug Abuse Prevention from 1972 to 1973. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Wilson received the nation's highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom,
in July 2003.
2011 | If Unemployment Has Shot Up, Why Has the Crime Rate Gone Down?
(This lecture was reprinted in the Summer 2011 issue of City Journal)
2009 | If Heredity Explains Behavior, Do People Have Free Will?
2008 | Can Genes Explain Our Politics
(This lecture was reprinted in the Winter 2009 issue of City Journal)
2007 | Christians, Jews & Israel
(This lecture was reprinted in the Winter 2008 issue of City Journal)
2006 | War and the Mass Media
(This lecture was reprinted in the Autumn 2006 issue of City Journal)
2005 | Why Is America More Religious than Europe?
2004 | Can Muslim Nations Acquire Liberal Democracies?
2003 | Who Becomes a Terrorist?
(This lecture was reprinted in the Winter 2004 issue of City Journal)
2002 | Religion and Freedom
(This lecture was reprinted in the Fall 2002 issue of City Journal)
2001 | Why Is Marriage in Trouble?
(This lecture was reprinted in the Winter 2002 issue of City Journal)
2000 | Public Policy and the Media: Do We Get the Whole Story?
1999 | Why Is Any Nation a Democracy?
1998 | Topic: Connections Among Television, Guns and Violence
1997 | Making Justice Swifter
(This lecture was reprinted in the Fall 1997 issue of City Journal.)