Final Score: A Selection of Writings that Reflect Mitch Pearlstein’s Intellectual Prowess

While I have only had the great privilege of working with Mitch Pearlstein for a short number of years, it quickly became obvious to me that his contributions—in the various forms they take—to the Center, academia, and society as a whole are innumerable.

Before this gets mistaken as the start of a eulogy, let me clarify it most certainly is not! Rather, it is my attempt to succinctly introduce Mitch’s most recent book, Final Score, that accompanies his retirement from American Experiment.

Representing a portion of his varied writings on three key themes over the last 21 years, the essays in Final Score are just as relevant today as when they were first penned. From Education & Families to Economics & Politics and Culture & Race, Mitch’s commentary on these topics is never devoid of intellectual rigor, civility, and respect for opinions and viewpoints that differ from his own. In 101 columns and blogs, he reminds (and teaches!) us how discourse on difficult issues is important not only for policy purposes but for shaping public principles.

With that, below are brief highlights on each of the three topic areas covered in Final Score. If you are interested in receiving your “priceless” hard copy, as Mitch so aptly puts it, please email your mailing address to [email protected] with “Final Score” in the subject line.

Education & Families

Strengthening education, expanding parental choice to include real school choice (private and religious schools), and unpacking the impact family fragmentation has on the health and well-being of the family are key themes in this section. In a thematically similar vein, Mitch writes about higher education as well, such as society’s misconception that a four-year degree is the only path to success and the toll of student debt.

Economics & Politics

Mitch begins this section by helping readers understand immigration’s relationship to economic expansion. Shortly following, he unearths a pattern among presidential acceptance speeches from the past 60 years. His piece in February 2019 on the community virtues of voting in person is particularly relevant, as is his piece on high crime rates in Minneapolis that have plagued the city for years while under DFL leadership.

Culture & Race

It would be remiss to not mention Mitch’s blog on one of his favorite shows, “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” that focuses on the positive role food plays in highlighting the various cuisines around the globe and the communities of brothers and sisters who unite to enjoy them. Regarding race in America, he concludes a post this way: “Fools and idiots; they will always be with us. The true measure of our humanity is whether and how we reject what they spew.”