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Spotlight on: Thomas Frank 

click to enlarge Thomas Frank speaks at Colorado College on Sept. 21.
  • Thomas Frank speaks at Colorado College on Sept. 21.

If you've ever wondered what's wrong with Colorado Springs or Colorado, you should hear what Thomas Frank has to say about What's the Matter With Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America, his 2005 book.

Founding editor of The Baffler, a well-respected journal of social critique from the American heartland, and author of One Market Under God and The Conquest of Cool, Mr. Frank has become one of the must-read and must-hear analysts of the conservative backlash in America. The timely lessons Frank drew from Kansas illuminate the rise of the national conservative movement and why constituents who support it frequently are working against their own fundamental interests.

Regarding the working-class fury that fuels the backlash, Frank has said: "We seem to have but one way to express our anger, and that's by raging along with Rush -- against liberal bias in academia, liberal softness on terrorism, liberal permissiveness, and so on. Our reaction to hard times is thus to hand over ever more power to the people who make them hard. In fact, the election of 2002 provided a perverse incentive to the men who gave us the dot-com bubble and the Enron fiasco: Keep at it. The more you screw the public over, the more they will clamor to cut your taxes. The more you cheat and steal, the angrier they will become -- at the liberal media that expose your cheating and stealing."

Deft analysis of a humorless subject, treated with subtle humor and stinging accuracy, is what you can expect at this Daniel Patrick O'Connor Memorial Lecture in Social Justice, which kicks off the Colorado College school year.

-- Kathryn Eastburn

Thomas Frank speaks about What's the Matter With Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America

Packard Hall, Colorado College (southwest corner of Cascade Ave. and Cache La Poudre St.)

Wednesday, Sept. 21, 7:30 p.m. Free; call 389-6607 for more.

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