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Event name

Divided we fall: Why consensus matters


Mon 10 / 03 / 2022
4:30 PM to 6:00 PM

Who can attend

Open to all



Alice Rivlin was a trailblazer in the field of economic policy and a civil servant of unparalleled devotion. She was famous for her optimism, but toward the end of her life, she was alarmed at the state of American politics and policy. In response, she began to write “Divided We Fall: Why Consensus Matters,” which was completed after her death by her son and daughter-in-law Allan Rivlin and Sheri Rivlin. Although she did not live to see the unprecedented and violent turmoil following the 2020 presidential elections, these events underscore the importance of her long and detailed list of ways government insiders and concerned citizens can become involved in the defense of fair and trusted elections, effective policymaking, and truth-based, respectful civil discourse.

“Divided We Fall: Why Consensus Matters” is for Americans across the political spectrum who are agonizing over partisan warfare, incivility, and policy gridlock and looking for ways to get our democratic policy process back on a constructive track before it is too late.

An event on October 3 will launch this important book and feature opening remarks by Amy Liu, interim president of The Brookings Institution, followed by a conversation with Sheri Rivlin and Allan Rivlin and moderated by Cathy Minehan, Brookings Board of Trustees. A panel will then discuss today’s political polarization, the outlook for the future, and the urgent lessons for America the book contains.

Viewers can submit questions speakers in advance by emailing and follow the conversation on Twitter using #DividedWeFall.

Register HERE


Opening remarks

Amy Liu, Interim President, Brookings

A conversation with the Rivlins

Moderator: Cathy Minehan, Managing Director, Arlington Advisory Partners; Brookings Board of Trustees; Former President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Allan Rivlin, CEO, Zen Political Research

Sheri Rivlin, President, Zen Political Research

Panel: Is there hope or are we doomed?

Moderator: Matt Miller, Partner, Capital Group

David Corn, Washington Bureau Chief, Mother Jones

William A. Galston, Ezra K. Zilkha Chair and Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, Brookings

Maya MacGuineas, President, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

Molly E. Reynolds, Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, Brookings