Augustana’s Boe Forum to Focus on the Rule of Law and Future of Democracy

New York Times Columnist and Bestselling Author David Brooks Named 2024 Speaker
By Jill Wilson | January 18, 2024
David Brooks

Augustana University and the Center for Western Studies (CWS) announced today that the 27th Boe Forum on Public Affairs will feature an evening with New York Times opinion columnist, PBS NewsHour commentator and bestselling author David Brooks. The talk, entitled “America at the Crossroads: The Rule of Law and the Future of Democracy,” will be held at 7:30 p.m., on Tuesday, March 19, in the Elmen Center.

The appearance of Brooks — an observer of the American way of life and analyst of present-day politics and foreign affairs — will come just two weeks following Super Tuesday when the greatest number of U.S. states hold primary elections and caucuses. His talk also follows a statewide poll that suggests South Dakotans on both sides of the aisle are concerned about democracy and the validity of election results.

"With the presidential election, and the balance of federal power in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives in question, 2024 is a tremendously consequential election year," said Dr. Harry Thompson, executive director of the CWS — the sponsor of the Boe Forum.

Beyond the New York Times, Brooks has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and NBC’s Meet the Press, as well as in the New Yorker, Washington Post and Forbes. Prior to joining the Times in 2003, he held positions at Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Newsweek and The Weekly Standard. He has been awarded more than 30 honorary degrees from American colleges and universities, was a Jackson Senior Fellow at Yale and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The author of a half-dozen books, Brooks seeks to explore and explain humanity and the way we live — underscoring the value of community and importance of nourishing both the inner and social self on our journey to a fulfilling life. Published in October 2023, Brooks’ most recent book, How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen is a guide to fostering authentic connection in a society plagued by loneliness and fragmentation.

“In selecting David Brooks, the university-community Boe Forum Committee found Brooks’ stance on the importance of the rule of law to a functioning democracy especially appealing. Brooks is widely regarded as one of the most astute and measured voices on American politics and society,” said Thompson.

Following Brooks’ address will be a Q&A session with questions developed by Augustana students interested in politics and/or journalism, and moderated by Augustana President Stephanie Herseth Sandlin.

Tickets for the 27th Boe Forum are free and will be available to the public in the coming weeks. For updates on the event, visit

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