Writer, lecturer, and social scientist
Os Guinness is an author, a social critic, and Senior Fellow of the EastWest Institute in New York. Great-great grandson of Arthur Guinness, the Dublin brewer, he was born in China in World War Two where his parents were medical missionaries. A witness to the climax of the Chinese revolution in 1949, he was expelled with many other foreigners in 1951 and returned to Europe where he was educated in England. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of London and his D.Phil in the social sciences from Oriel College, Oxford.
Os has written or edited more than twenty five books, including The American Hour, Time for Truth, The Call, Invitation to the Classics, Long Journey Home, and Unspeakable: Facing up to the challenge of evil. His latest book The Case for Civility – and why our future depends on it was published by Harper One in January 2008.
Previously, Os was a freelance reporter with the BBC. Since coming to the United States in 1984, he has been a Guest Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Studies and a Guest Scholar and Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution. From 1986 to 1989, Os served as Executive Director of the Williamsburg Charter Foundation, a bicentennial celebration of the First Amendment. In this position he helped to draft the Williamsburg Charter and co-authored the public school curriculum Living With Our Deepest Differences. From 1991 to 2004 he was a senior fellow at the Trinity Forum, and a frequent speaker and seminar leader at political and business conferences in both the United States and Europe.
As a European visitor to this country and a great admirer but detached observer of American culture today, he stands in the long tradition of outside voices who have contributed so much to America’s ongoing discussion about the state of the union. He lives with his wife Jenny in McLean, Virginia.