Kristen Monroe

Kristen Monroe, Political Scientist and Professor
2011 Ernie and Lucha Vogel Moral Courage Speaker

Through interviews with five ordinary people who rescued Jews during the Holocaust, Kristen Monroe casts new light on questions at the heart of ethics: Why do people risk their lives for strangers, and what drives such moral choices? Monroe’s analysis points not to traditional explanations—such as religion or reason—but to identity. The rescuers’ perceptions of themselves in relation to others made their extraordinary acts spontaneous and left the rescuers no choice but to act. (Excerpted from the front flap of The Hand of Compassion: Portraits of Moral Choice During the Holocaust.)

Monroe is Director of the Interdisciplinary Center for the Scientific Study of Ethics and Morality in the Political Science School of Social Sciences at University of California, Irvine. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and grew up in Collinsville, Illinois.