Friday, September 21, 2012

Pulitzer-Winning Journalist Unmasks the Culprits of Middle-Class Decline in Campus Talk Oct. 4


CHESTERTOWN, MD— Millions of Americans have lost their jobs. Millions have lost their homes. Many more face an uncertain future. What – and who – is to blame?

One of the nation’s most acclaimed investigative reporters, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist James B. Steele, will reveal some of the culprits in a free public lecture at Washington College on Thursday, October 4. The talk will take place at 5:30 p.m. in Hynson Lounge, Hodson Hall, and will be followed by a book signing. It is cosponsored by the College’s C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience and the Department of Business Management.

In a new book entitled The Betrayal of the American Dream, Steele and coauthor Donald L. Barlett delve deep into the history of the past several decades and pull no punches in reaching their conclusion: that government and big business have conspired to slowly dismantle what had become the world’s strongest economy. A recent review in the Los Angeles Times called the book, which is already a national bestseller,essential reading to anyone trying to make sense of our country’s current malaise.”

The Betrayal of the American Dream is the story of how a small number of people in power have deliberately put in place policies that have enriched themselves while cutting the ground out from underneath America’s greatest asset – its middle class,” Barlett and Steele write in the book’s prologue. “Their actions, going back more than three decades, have relegated untold numbers of American men and women to the economic scrap heap.    Astonishingly, this has been carried out in what is considered the world’s greatest democracy, where the will of the people is supposed to prevail. It no longer does.”

Barlett and Steele have worked together for more than three decades, first at the Philadelphia Inquirer (1971-1997), where they won two Pulitzer Prizes and scores of other national journalism awards, then at Time magazine (1997-2006), where they earned two National Magazine Awards, and now at Vanity Fair as contributing editors. They also have co-written eight books. The Betrayal of the American Dream is the sequel to their 1991 investigative series “America: What Went Wrong,” which New York University’s journalism department recognized as one of the best pieces of journalism of the 20th century. Reworked into a book, it became a #1 New York Times bestseller.

“For more than two decades, James Steele’s brilliant and tireless reporting has chronicled the rise of a new age of robber barons,” said Adam Goodheart, the Starr Center’s Hodson Trust-Griswold Director. “His findings – and his indictment of those responsible – are nothing short of devastating. What he tells us in his upcoming talk may cause controversy, but I’m certain that no one who attends this event will leave it without new insights into our country’s past, present, and future.”


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Washington College’s C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience is dedicated to fostering innovative approaches to the American past and present. Through educational programs, scholarship and public outreach, and a special focus on written history, the Starr Center seeks to bridge the divide between the academic world and the public at large. For more information on the Center, visit http://starrcenter.washcoll.edu.

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