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Noted conservative author Dinesh D’Souza takes on the critics and defends America’s unique standing as the “freest and most decent society in existence” in an address Thursday, May 20 at Lawrence University.

Based on his 2002 book of the same name, D’Souza presents “What’s So Great About America” at 7:30 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.

Written in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, “What’s So Great About America” celebrates the United States, in D’Souza’s view as, “the best life our world has to offer” while taking on those who hate America, including radical Muslims.

Born and raised in India, D’Souza, 43, immigrated to the United States in 1978. After earning a degree from Dartmouth University, he served as the editor of Prospect magazine and spent a year as managing editor of the conservative magazine Policy Review. In 1987, D’Souza joined the Reagan administration as a senior domestic policy analyst.

In addition to “What’s So Great About America,” D’Souza is the author of six other books, including 1991′s bestseller “Illiberal Education,” in which he casts a critical eye on the state of contemporary American higher education. He has also written a biography of Jerry Falwell, “Falwell: Before the Millennium,” provided a controversial view of the role of race in American society in “The End of Racism” and argues the case why Ronald Reagan should be considered among the nation’s greatest presidents in his 1997 book “Ronald Reagan: How an Ordinary Man Became an Extraordinary Leader.”

Hailed by Investor’s Business Daily as one of the “top young public-policy makers in the country,” D’Souza’s writing also has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Vanity Fair, Forbes, Harper’s and the Atlantic Monthly.

He currently serves as the Robert and Karen Rishwain Research Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, specializing in issues of social and individual responsibility, civil rights and affirmative action, economics and society and higher education.

D’Souza is speaking at the invitation of the Lawrence College Republicans, and his appearance is sponsored by the Class of ’65 Student Activity Fund, the Young America’s Foundation, and the Outagamie County Republican Party.