About the Book

The Cheating Culture: Why More Americans Are Doing Wrong to Get Ahead offers a penetrating look at the crisis of ethics across American society. Author David Callahan pins blame for many of these problems on economic shifts -- like growing inequality and insecurity -- which have incentivized cheating in business, schools, and key professions. (Read Chapter One)

"This is a breathtaking book."

  - Los Angeles Times Book Review

"A damning and persuasive critique of America's new economic life."

   - Esquire

"Everything you ever wanted to know about what's gone wrong with ethics in our society is explained in David Callahan's remarkable and readable new book.

   - Philadelphia Inquirer


"Well-constructed, civic-minded...full of compelling statistics and anecdotes...relentlessly big picture."

  - The New York Times Book Review


"In comparable history, venality may never have been so brazen, lucrative and accepted. Dozens of books and hundreds of newspaper, magazine and journal articles have examined this phenomenon. New ones come out daily. None I have yet seen does it with the anger, vigor and persuasiveness of The Cheating Culture."

  - Baltimore Sun


"A hundred years ago, the progressive reformer could draw on a coherent worldview shaped by Social Gospel Protestantism. For better and worse, our culture lacks that coherence today. But if we ever do try to overcome our divisions and regenerate our public life, we will find few more thoughtful guides than David Callahan."

  - In These Times

David Callahan


David Callahan, PhD, a co-founder of the think tank Demos, has written extensively about American values, business, and public policy. He is author of The Cheating Culture: Why More Americans Are Doing Wrong to Get Ahead.

Since its publication, The Cheating Culture has received wide attention and been reviewed or mentioned in hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles. (Read Chapter One) David has also appeared on numerous television and radio programs to discuss the book. His lectures about The Cheating Culture have taken him to over thirty states, where he has spoken on ethics and integrity to scores of universities, business groups, churches, and civic organizations.

In addition to The Cheating Culture, David is author of The Moral Center, which explores how America can move beyond the partisan culture war and come together around a set of shared values that emphasize both mutual obligation and personal responsibility. Most recently, he is the author of Fortunes of Change: The Rise of the Liberal Rich and the Remaking of America, which looks at how American business leaders and heirs are increasingly embracing such values as environmental sustainability, shared economic opportunity, and multiculturalism. David also wrote about values in the business world and economic trends in another book, Kindred Spirits: Harvard Business School's Extraordinary Class of 1949 and How They Transformed American Business.

David’s numerous articles have been published in such places as The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, Foreign Policy, The Nation, and The American Prospect. He has been a frequent commentator on television programs on CNN, CBS, PBS, MSNBC, and Fox News, and has been a regular guest on radio talk shows across the United States, including appearances such NPR programs as Morning Edition and the Tavis Smiley Show. 

David is currently a Senior Fellow at Demos, a public policy center based in New York City that he co-founded in 1999. In his various positions at Demos, David has written numerous research and policy reports on a wide range of public issues. Previous to co-founding Demos, David was a Fellow at the Century Foundation from 1994 to 1999, where he principally focused on issues of U.S. foreign policy and international affairs. He is the author of three books in this area: Dangerous Capabilities: Paul Nitze and the Cold War; Unwinnable Wars: American Power and Ethnic Conflict; and Between Two Worlds: Realism, Idealism, and American Foreign Policy After the Cold War. David is also the author of a critically acclaimed political thriller novel, State of the Union.

David went to public high school in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York and received his B.A. at Hampshire College and his PhD in Politics at Princeton University.

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