Reihan Salam

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Reihan Salam
Reihan Salam (2).jpg
Salam in 2019
Reihan Morshed Salam

(1979-12-29) 29 December 1979 (age 41)
EducationCornell University
Harvard University (BA)
OccupationAuthor, journalist, think tank president
Political partyRepublican

Reihan Morshed Salam (/ˈrhɑːn səˈlɑːm/; born 29 December 1979)[1] is a conservative[2] American political commentator, columnist and author who since 2019 has been president of the Manhattan Institute.[3] He was previously executive editor of National Review,[4] a columnist for Slate,[5] a contributing editor at National Affairs, a contributing editor at The Atlantic,[6] an interviewer for VICE[7] and a fellow at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics.[8]

Early life and education[edit]

Salam was born in Brooklyn, New York.[9] His parents are Bangladeshi-born Muslim immigrants who arrived in New York in 1976.[10] Salam attended Stuyvesant High School and Cornell University before transferring to Harvard University, where he was a member of the Signet Society and lived in Pforzheimer House. He graduated from Harvard in 2001 with an A.B. degree in Social Studies.[11]


After graduating from Harvard, Salam worked as a reporter-researcher at The New Republic and as a research associate at the Council on Foreign Relations before becoming an editorial researcher for David Brooks at The New York Times. Salam also worked as a producer for NBCUniversal's The Chris Matthews Show, and as an associate editor at The Atlantic, thereafter accepting a fellowship at the think tank, New America.[12]

He has appeared on a number of radio and television shows, including NPR's Morning Edition, Talk of the Nation, All Things Considered, and Tell Me More, on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, NBCUniversal's The Chris Matthews Show, WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show, BBC's Newsnight, ABC's This Week, CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS, Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, American Public Media's Marketplace, Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight,[13][14] and The News Hour from PBS.[15]

National Review[edit]

In 2014, Salam was named executive editor of National Review.[16] While on staff, National Review gained a reputation for publishing clashing opinions on a wide range of policy issues.[17]

Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream[edit]

In 2008, Salam co-authored Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream with Ross Douthat. The book grew from a cover story for The Weekly Standard, which called for a reinvention of Republican domestic policy.[18] Salam and Douthat argued that the Republican Party had lost touch with its own base and that its Bush-era, big-government policies were "an evolutionary dead end." They instead advocated "tak[ing] the 'big-government conservatism' vision" of Bush and giving it "coherence and sustainability" by vigorously serving the interests of the less affluent voters, who had become the party's base. The platform would include "an economic policy that places the two-parent family—the institution best capable of providing cultural stability and economic security—at the heart of the GOP agenda."[19]

Melting Pot or Civil War?: A Son of Immigrants Makes the Case Against Open Borders[edit]

Salam's second book Melting Pot or Civil War?: A Son of Immigrants Makes the Case Against Open Borders, was released in 2018. It "contends that while the United States should welcome more high-skilled immigrants, mass low-skilled immigration is swelling the number of poor people in a country that is struggling--with modest success at best--to fulfill the aspirations of the less privileged citizens already living here".[20] The New York Times' Ross Douthat (co-author of Salam's previous book) described it as "a rigorous, policy-driven argument for more-humane-than-Trump immigration restriction".[21] Megan McArdle commended it for its "admirable and all-too-rare willingness to lay out the problem in clear terms",[22] and Noah Smith, writing in Foreign Affairs, called it, "a thoughtful well-informed, mostly economic argument for limiting low-skilled immigration".[23]

Manhattan Institute presidency[edit]

In February 2019, it was announced that Salam had been selected to become the new president of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. He succeeded Larry Mone, who retired after leading the Institute for 24 years.[24] In May 2019, he officially took the helm. "I know not only that ideas matter, in other words, but also that the Institute's ideas can change lives for the better", he said at the Institute's 2019 Hamilton Award Dinner", continuing:

For decades, the Institute has been an intellectual powerhouse, with an unmatched record for putting its scholars' thought into practice. MI's scholars aren't afraid to take risks, ask hard questions, and challenge the received wisdom. It is an honor for me to help shape the Institute's next chapter, and to lead an organization with such an impressive track record and so much promise for the future.

A self-described "coalition builder", Salam was profiled in the Wall Street Journal shortly after taking on the presidency and described his interest in examining topics like urban "political monocultures", and "punitive multiculturalism", while still maintaining the Institute's focus on issues such as school choice, pension reform, limited government, and lower taxes.

Political views and style[edit]

Salam has been described as "Literary Brooklyn's Favorite Conservative."[16] He has written that he intends to "pump ideas into the bloodstream of American conservatism."

I write in the hope and expectation that people read people with whom they disagree to challenge their settled views. Suffice it to say, this isn't generally the case, but I'm happy to continue behaving as though it is, as it is true of enough people to justify the effort.[25]

Salam has taken a strong interest in congestion pricing and the encouragement of denser living arrangements, the promotion of natural gas and nuclear power, reform of the US tax code, and the fostering of a more competitive and diverse marketplace of educational providers.[26] In the wake of the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Salam argued that white flight and unsustainable urban sprawl had contributed to high poverty levels.[27] Drawing on the San Francisco Bay Area as an example, he has identified restrictive zoning policies as an important barrier to upward mobility in the US.[28] He has defended work requirements for welfare recipients in New York City and elsewhere.[29]

He initially supported the Iraq War but has since called it a disaster of "world-historical proportions." He claims to advocate policies that strengthen traditional family structure and has supported gay marriage.[citation needed] He has described as "brilliant" figures like Canadian Marxist philosopher Gerald Cohen and Reagan adviser and neoclassical economist Martin Feldstein.[25]

He has called for reducing immigration levels to encourage assimilation and integration,[30] advocating the end of automatic birthright citizenship.[31]

Personal life[edit]

A Brooklyn, New York, native, Salam has returned to his home borough, where he now lives with his family.



  • With Ross Douthat, Grand New Party. New York: Doubleday, 2008. (ISBN 978-0307277800)
  • Melting Pot or Civil War? New York: Sentinel, 2018. (ISBN 978-0735216273)

Recent articles[edit]


  1. ^ "Ana Marie Cox and Reihan Salam". Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  2. ^ "Palin, Bachmann Comparisons Are Unavoidable". NPR. 19 August 2011.
  3. ^ "A Great Day for Conservatism, and New York City". National Review. 19 February 2019.
  4. ^ "Reihan Salam tweets new exec editor job".
  5. ^ "Reihan Salam". Slate. Retrieved February 25, 2019. Reihan Salam is a columnist for Slate.
  6. ^ "Reihan Salam". The Atlantic. Retrieved February 25, 2019. Reihan Salam is a contributing editor at The Atlantic and executive editor of National Review. He is the author of Melting Pot or Civil War? A Son of Immigrants Makes the Case Against Open Borders
  7. ^ "Reihan Salam ["author" page about R.S.]". VICE. Vice Media. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  8. ^ "The IOP Announces Fall Quarter 2015 Fellows". University of Chicago Institute of Politics. September 9, 2015.
  9. ^ Lowry, Rich (February 19, 2019). "A Great Day for Conservatism, and New York City". National Review.
  10. ^ Nguyen, Tina (December 11, 2015). "Why These Muslim Republicans Aren't Worried About Trump". Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  11. ^ "New Star Rising". Forum. Forum. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
  12. ^ Reihan Salam, "About Me", in Gary Y. Okihiro, ed., The Great American Mosaic: An Exploration of Diversity in Primary Documents, p. 37-39.
  13. ^ "Reihan Salam". The Daily Scene. The Daily Scene. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  14. ^ "The IOP Announces Fall Quarter 2015 Fellows". University of Chicago Institute of Politics. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
  15. ^ Woodruff, Judy, interviewer (2018). "Shields and Salam on Trump Putin Summit After-Shocks" transcript, PBS, 20 July. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  16. ^ a b "How Reihan Salam Became Literary Brooklyn's Favorite Conservative".
  17. ^ Frank, T.A. (January 25, 2018). "Why Conservative Magazines Are More Important Than Ever". The Washington Post.
  18. ^ Continetti, Matthew. "The Grand New Party". Weekly Standard. Weekly Standard. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
  19. ^ The Grand New Party. Internet Archive. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  20. ^ Hymowitz, Kay (October 31, 2018). "Thinking Clearly About Immigration". The New York Times.
  21. ^ Douthat, Ross (October 13, 2018). "The Different Ends of NeverTrump By Ross Douthat". The New York Times.
  22. ^ McArdle, Megan (October 23, 2018). "The immigration conversation we need to have — and soon". The Washington Post.
  23. ^ Smith, Noah (October 11, 2018). "Should America Cut Off Low-Skilled Immigration?". Foreign Affairs.
  24. ^ Salam, Reihan (February 20, 2019). "Praise Pours in for Reihan Salam After Selection as President of Manhattan Institute". Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  25. ^ a b "They're Young, They're Bright, They Tilt Right". n+1. n+1. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
  26. ^ Salam, Reihan (24 June 2009). "Inner Neocons". The American Scene. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
  27. ^ Salam, Reihan (4 September 2014). "Poverty in the suburbs: Places that thrived in the era of two-parent families are struggling today". Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  28. ^ Salam, Reihan (27 June 2014). "San Francisco housing policy: It would be a better city if twice as many people lived there". Retrieved 17 January 2016.
  29. ^ "De Blasio's Welfare Mistake".
  30. ^ Salam, Reihan (31 October 2014). "American melting pot: How slowing down immigration could help us build a more cohesive and humane society". Retrieved 17 January 2016.
  31. ^ "A Better Solution to America's Immigration Problem".

External links[edit]