in conjunction with the River City Reading Festival
- Saturday, Sept. 27, 2008, 5 p.m.
- Dole Institute of Politics, KU campus, Lawrence
- Cost: Free
- Age limit: All ages
The keynote speaker at this year's River City Reading Festival will be Thomas Frank, author of "The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule." Frank's talk, which will cap the day's events, will take place at 5 p.m. at the Dole Institute of Politics. All other festival events take place at the Lawrence Public Library.Frank is also the author of "What's the Matter with Kansas: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America." The book uses Kansas as metaphor for the rest of the country in order to examine why so many working and middle-class Americans consistently act against their own self-interests. Frank examines the country's growing rancor against the so-called liberal elite, focusing on the culture of pop conservatism Â- the bestsellers, radio talk shows and vicious punditry that have left us with a politics more concerned with populist solidarity than with questions of policy. A one-time Reagan youth himself, Frank now argues that the Democrats must engage the Republicans on economic issues in order to resurrect an alliance with the working class.