David L. Kirp

David L. Kirp is the James D. Marver Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, and a policy consultant and former newspaper editor. In his seventeen books and scores of articles, in both the popular press and scholarly journals, he has tackled some of America’s biggest social problems, including affordable housing, access to health, gender discrimination and AIDS.

Recent Articles

It's All About the Money

How America became preoccupied with higher education’s bottom line.  

AP Photo/Orlin Wagner
This is a pivotal moment in American higher education—a crisis, you might say, if the term hadn’t been debased by overuse. The criticisms come from every corner and the bill of particulars is lengthy. The financial cost gets most of the attention. Since 1980, tuition has more than doubled at private universities and tripled at public institutions. Students have accumulated more than $1.2 trillion in debt, $300 million more than what Americans owe credit card companies. For-profit schools enroll about an eighth of all college students, many of whom end up saddled with mountainous debts and worthless degrees. Students from poor families have it especially rough. Half of all 25-year-olds from well-off families, but just a tenth of all 25-year-olds from poor families, have a bachelor’s degree. As Robert Putnam recently observed, “dumb rich kids” go to college at about the same rate as “smart poor kids.” What’s more, students are dropping out...

The End of the Lavender Ghetto

As gays and lesbians gain acceptance, they are moving away from the old neighborhoods that long epitomized gay culture.

(AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
This book review is from the Fall 2014 issue of The American Prospect magazine. There Goes the Gayborhood? By Amin Ghaziani 360 pp. Princeton University Press $35 For nearly half a century, San Francisco’s Castro district has been the gay Mecca, and from every corner of the globe LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) tourists have made the pilgrimage. They came to party, and many wound up staying. The rainbow flag was first flown there. The annual Gay Pride parade and Halloween party were red-letter days on the LGBT calendar. Gay tourists still throng the Castro, and tour buses continue to bring gawking tourists, but the neighborhood isn’t what it used to be. Lesbians and gays are moving out, the census data show, and straights are moving in—that means more strollers and fewer sex shops. The Gay Pride parade, once a cultural celebration, has morphed into a corporate-sponsored event, and like Halloween, it draws thousands of titillation-seeking suburbanites...