Liberal writer to speak at McBride Lecture

Liberal writer to speak at McBride Lecture

by Casey JohnsonStaff Writer

Acclaimed author and historian Thomas Frank is scheduled to speak tonight at the 19th annual McBride Lecture.

“The McBride lecture is a big deal,” said Susanne Gubanc, assistant professor of communications studies. “As far as I know, there’s just one speaker they bring in for that event. There’s a nice sit-down meal we have, and the faculty is encouraged to attend.”

The lecture will take place at 7 p.m. in Smith Chapel. All students are welcome to attend, and it does count as a forum event. The focus is Thomas Frank’s book, “What’s the Matter with Kansas: How Conservatism Won the Heart of America.”

The topice of Frank’s book has caused controversy.

“In the book, what Frank does is he makes the case that conservatives won the heart of America by obliterating the economic and focusing on cultural issues,” said Brian Steffen, professor of communications studies. “And his argument is that Republicans have been very skillful about exploiting cultural issues, and that’s largely to explain why, in his view, even though those conservative policies don’t benefit most people, they still succeed in getting conservatives elected to office.”

Freshman Kiki Wilson is planning to attend the McBride lecture.

“I think the book has a lot of good points in it,” Wilson said.”However, I feel that there are a lot of generalizations and stereotypes in the book that are a bit extreme. Nonetheless, I’m looking forward to hearing the questions that others have for Thomas Frank and his responses to them.”