Yale Bulletin and Calendar

September 29, 2000Volume 29, Number 4

Charles Reich

'Greening of America' author
to present lecture series

Charles Reich, author of "The Greening of America" and "Opposing the System," has said: "My goal in life is to make people think. If I do that, I've been a success."

The former Yale Law School professor and founding board member of the Natural Resources Defense Council will continue to pursue that goal by offering a series of four lectures at the Law School in October.

The series, titled "The Wealth of Human Beings: An Ecological Vision of Society," will explore Reich's views on the relationship of wealth to individual well-being and environmental health; and on new ways of envisioning how members of a society flourish -- what Reich identifies as "The Right to Life."

The lectures are free and open to the public. The list of his topics and dates follows:

"The Great Disconnection: The Separation of Wealth from Life," Tuesday, Oct. 3, noon-1 p.m.;

"A True Free Market," Thursday, Oct. 5, 4:30-5:30 p.m.;

"The Right to Life," Tuesday, Oct. 10, noon-1 p.m.; and

"Law and Economics for an Ecological Age," Thursday, Oct. 12, 4:30-5:30 p.m.

All lectures will be held in the faculty lounge of the Law School, 127 Wall St. A light lunch will be provided at the Tuesday lectures.

When first published in 1970, Reich's "The Greening of America" was both heralded and disparaged. A paperback edition of the book was reissued in 1995, the 25th anniversary of its publication. In the preface, the author noted, "If there was any doubt about the need for social transformation in 1970, that need is clear and urgent today. ... I am now more convinced than ever that the conflict and suffering now threatening to engulf us are entirely unnecessary, and a tragic waste of our energy and resources. We can create an economic system that is not at war with human beings or nature, and we can get from here to there by democratic means."

Reich graduated from Oberlin College in 1949, and received his LL.B. from Yale Law School in 1952. After graduation, he was a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo L. Black. He became an associate professor of law at Yale in 1960, and from 1964 to 1974, he was professor of law at the University, where he taught a variety of subjects, including property. From 1991 to 1995, he was a visiting professor at Yale, teaching a course entitled "The Individual Sector." Since 1974, Reich has written widely on topics relating to the environment, government power, public welfare and individual wellbeing. He has also been a visiting professor at the University of San Francisco Law School, and the University of California at Santa Barbara.


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