Glendon looks to history to inspire graduates considering a career in public life
In her long career as a law professor, Mary Ann Glendon has seen students struggle to stay idealistic in an imperfect world. Will they lose their moral compass if they choose a life in politics? Risk irrelevance if they stick to academia? Glendon, a former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, has explored how great statespersons and philosophers grappled with similar questions.
For generations, the assumption that selfishness drives human behavior has shaped the design of social systems in which we live and work. In his new book “The Penguin and the Leviathan: The Triumph of Cooperation Over Self-Interest,” Harvard Law Professor Yochai Benkler ’94 rejects this assumption as a “myth” and proposes an alternative, refreshingly optimistic model that asserts our human traits of cooperation and collaboration.