Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn at The Progressive Forum January 16

Popular New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and his spouse, Sheryl WuDunn, will discuss their new book, Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope. They are the only married couple to share a Pulitzer Prize.

The event is in Houston on Thursday, January 16, at 7:30 p.m. at Congregation Emanu El, 1500 Sunset Blvd. Tickets are available online at, and at 800-514-3849 Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. They will also be available at the door on event night. General admission tickets are $45 and $70 for side and middle sections, respectively. Tickets for reserved seats and speaker reception are $150. All ticket buyers attending will receive a free copy of Tightrope, a retail value of $28.

“In an era of extreme inequality, Kristof and WuDunn bring a timely focus on solutions to America’s working-class crisis,” said Randall Morton, Progressive Forum founder and president.

Tightrope is a deeply personal plea, told through the lives of real Americans, to address the working-class crisis and mend a half century of governmental failure. While the book ranges from the Dakotas to Oklahoma to New York, it features Kristof’s friends in rural Yamhill, Oregon, where he grew up, a formerly prosperous area devastated by the disappearance of blue-collar jobs. A quarter of the children on Kristof’s school bus died in adulthood from drugs, alcohol, suicide, or reckless accidents.

In 1990, Kristof and DuWunn became the first married couple to win a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of China’s pro-democracy movement and Tiananment Square protests. Kristof won a second Pulitzer Prize in 2006 for his columns on the conflict and genocide in Darfur, Sudan.

Kristof previously served as a correspondent in Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Beijing, and Tokyo, as well as editor of the Times Sunday edition. He is a regular commentator on CNN and a pioneer using online media, with about 3 million followers on social media. On a Rhodes Scholarship, he earned a law degree at Oxford University with first-class honors after graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College.

WuDunn also served as a foreign correspondent for the Times in Beijing and Tokyo. She is currently a senior managing director at Mid-Market Securities, a boutique investment banking firm in New York. She has served as a commentator on China and global affairs on Bloomberg TV, NPR, The Colbert Report, and Charlie Rose. She has lectured at the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the Council on Foreign Relations, as well as Yale’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. She is a graduate of Cornell University, Harvard Business School, and Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Newsweek named her to their list of “150 Women Who Shake the World.”

About The Progressive Forum

The Progressive Forum is the nation’s only lecture series expressly dedicated to progressive values. The Progressive Forum became Houston’s largest speaker organization during its first nine years, averaging 1,000 people per event. After a hiatus of three-and-a-half years, The Progressive Forum relaunched in the fall of 2017, presenting Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU; leading climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe on recovering from Harvey in the spring of 2018; and the 68th Secretary of State John Kerry in the fall of 2018.

The Progressive Forum was founded by Randall Morton in 2005 by presenting Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Houston Mayor Bill White in an event called “Our Environmental Challenges” at The Hobby Center. The history of The Progressive Forum includes milestones such as national book launches for Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, climatologist James Hansen’s Storms of My Grandchildren, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s My Beloved World, and the autobiography of Lester Brown’s Breaking New Ground. The Progressive Forum provided the film premiere of Fighting Goliath: Texas Coal Wars, introduced by Robert Redford, who commissioned and narrated the documentary. An appearance by Gloria Steinem celebrated the 30th anniversary of the National Women’s Conference in Houston. The Progressive Forum also presented U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and two Supreme Court justices, Sonia Sotomayor and the late Justice John Paul Stevens. Other speakers have included Ken Burns, Rachel Maddow, Bill Moyers, Jared Diamond, and many more.

For more background on The Progressive Forum, go to