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Alan Ehrenhalt

Alan Ehrenhalt

Senior Editor

Alan Ehrenhalt served for 19 years as executive editor of Governing Magazine, and is currently one of its contributing editors. He has been a frequent contributor to The New York Times Book Review and op-ed page, the Washington Post Book World, New Republic and The Wall Street Journal. He is the author of four books: The United States of Ambition, The Lost City, Democracy in the Mirror, and The Great Inversion. He was also the creator and editor of the first four editions of Politics in America, a biennial reference book profiling all 535 members of Congress. Alan Ehrenhalt is a 1968 graduate of Brandeis University and holds an MS in journalism from Columbia. He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard from 1977-1978; a Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1987-1988; a Regents’ Lecturer at UCLA in 2006; an adjunct faculty member at the Jepson School of Leadership Studies, at the University of Richmond, from 2004 through 2008; and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Maryland Graduate School of Public Policy in 2009. In 2000 he received the American Political Science Association’s McWilliams award for distinguished contributions to the field of political science by a journalist. He is married, has two daughters, and lives in Arlington, Virginia.

He can be reached at ehrenhalt@yahoo.com.

States keep trying to rein in the offensive language people want to affix to their cars, but issues of free speech come up again and again. What are reasonable societal boundaries?
Levies for public transit can win at the polls when taxpayers perceive that a project benefits them. These days, properly designed bus rapid transit systems seem to have better chances than expensive light rail.
Advocates argue that cities and their connecting swaths of territory make an economic unit, despite the absence of real cultural affinities between distant metros.
The familiar grid has its detractors, but it also has strengths. Could an eccentric Spanish architect from the 1840s teach us how to do it right?
Small experiments for solving social problems may seem to work, but at least half of them fall apart when they’re expanded to a larger constituency. Costs are the main explanation, although not the only one.
A growing cadre of urban-design experts argues that there is a crucial connection between public health and the built environment. It’s a movement that has its roots in the 19th century.
We give subsidies to people who don’t need them, and order the poor to find money they don’t have when they get in trouble with the law.
His legacy has mostly slipped through the cracks, but his ideas provided a blueprint for re-creating the city as a center of modern social life, laying the groundwork for today’s New Urbanist movement.
Some legislatures have been banning reporters from their lawmaking chambers. But given how statehouse coverage has changed in recent decades, the reality is that we've simply traded one flawed system for another.
Turning storefronts into online-commerce fulfillment centers or pop-up spaces for artists isn't likely to bring downtowns back. But even remote workers need places to go when they take a break from their keyboards.