Books from Boisi Center Events
boisi center for religion and american public life
Gambling: Mapping the American Moral Landscape
Published by Baylor Press, 2009.
From the Introduction:
By Alan Wolfe and Erik Owens
There is no subject more pressing than the role of gambling in American life, yet for many years the academic attention paid to it has been uneven at best. In 2005, the American Gaming Association estimated total revenue from gambling at $84.65 billion for the year. Specific sectors of the industry like American Indian casinos accounted for $22.62, and state lotteries in Massachusetts, California, and Connecticut have brought $4.4 billion a year, $3.6 billion, and $970 million. The sums are fantastic and testify to just how ubiquitous gambling has become in American society. Yet for years, sociologists ignored its impact on the family, historians (save for a precious few) were more interested in prohibition or prostitution, and economists treated gamblers as more likely to be addicted or obsessive than motivated by considerations of rational self-interest.
The editors of this book understand that academic interest in gambling will never grow at the same rate as gambling itself. Nonetheless we are convinced that there is an increasing interest across many academic disciplines in the phenomenon and that, as a result, we are beginning to develop the tools to understand why it has become so much part of American culture – as well as what the consequences of that fact are likely to be. Gambling and the American Moral Landscape originated as a conference at Boston College that sought to bring together experts from a wide variety of backgrounds to analyze the role gambling plays in American life. Some of those we invited were specialists on the topic. Others were experts in fields such as theology, moral philosophy, and sociology who had not written on the topic before but were intrigued by the prospect of addressing it from the perspective of their discipline. The conference was well-attended, exciting, and newsworthy. We hope the book will be as well.
School Choice: The Moral Debate
Princeton University Press, 2003.
As education reform and school choice have become central topics in American political life, there has been a massive proliferation of web-based resources on the subject. The collection of links below seeks to provide some consolidation of these various resources while maintaining representation from across the spectrum of opinion. This guide will be continually updated, and we welcome comments or suggestions for other school choice links.
- School Choice Constitutional Cases
- Advocacy Groups, Policy Centers, and Think Tanks
- State Legislative Agenda and Media Resource Pages
The Moral and Normative Aspects of School Choice
A Conference Held at Boston College
March 9th and 10th, 2001
With support from the Smith Richardson Foundation, the Boisi Center held a major national conference on the normative and philosophical issues inherent in America's debates over school choice. Abstracts of all the papers are available on-line below; publication of all papers is forthcoming from Princeton University Press. The Boston College Magazine has an online story detailing the conference's participants and discussions entitled "Uncommon Ground."
- School Choice and Pluralism
- School Choice and Equality
- School Choice and the Ecology of Institutions
- School Choice and American Constitutional Law
Papers from the Gambling Conference
- "Ends and Means in State Lotteries: The Importance of a Good Cause" by Charles T. Clotfelter and Phillip J. Cook
- "Moral Policymaking and Indian Gaming: Negotiating a Different Terrain" by Kathryn R.L. Rand and Steven Andrew Light
- "The Tale of Two 'Sins': Regulation of Gambling and Tobacco" by Richard A. McGowan, S.J.
- "Gambing and American Culture: A Discussion" by Steven Andrew Light