Politics & Polls #165: Dealing with College Debt Featuring Caitlin Zaloom

Dec 19 2019
By Brillian Bao
Source Woodrow Wilson School

College debt is a defining characteristic of middle class life in America.

In this episode, Caitlin Zaloom joins Julian Zelizer to discuss the impact of debt on families and students, the historic value of education, and explanations behind the rising costs of college. These are all topics of her new book, “Indebted: How Families Make College Work at Any Cost.”

Zaloom is the editor-in-chief of Public Books and an associate professor in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University. Her research focuses on urbanization, globalization, financial markets, science and technology, and social theory. She also is the author of “Out of the Pits: Traders and Technology.” Zaloom’s work has been recognized by multiple organizations, including the National Science Foundation, and the International Center for Advanced Study.


Zelizer has been among the pioneers in the revival of American political history. He is the Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Class of 1941 Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University and a CNN political analyst. He has written more than 900 op-eds, including his popular weekly column for CNN.com and The Atlantic. This year, he is the distinguished senior fellow at the New York Historical Society, where he is writing a biography of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel for Yale University's Jewish Lives Series. He is the author and editor of more than 19 books including, “The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society,” the winner of the D.B. Hardeman Prize for the Best Book on Congress. In January 2019, Norton published his new book, co-authored with Kevin Kruse, “Fault Lines: A History of the United States Since 1974.” In spring 2020, Penguin Press will publish his other book, “Burning Down the House: Newt Gingrich, The Fall of a Speaker, and the Rise of the New Republican Party.” He has received fellowships from the Brookings Institution, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation and New America.