Feb. 11, 2017
GAMBIER, Ohio — Kenyon College welcomes author Brian Alexander on Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 7:30 p.m. as he talks about his new book, “Glass House: The 1% Economy and the Shattering of the All-American Town.” His talk will be held in the Gund Gallery’s Community Foundation Theater, 101 ½ College Drive.
In “Glass House,” which will be released Tuesday, Feb. 14, Alexander recounts the decline of his “all-American” hometown of Lancaster, Ohio, due to the economic collapse of its once-prosperous glassware industry. Kirkus Reviews described “Glass House” as “a devastating and illuminating book that shows how a city and a country got where they are and how difficult it can be to reverse course.”
In an interview with NPR’s “Fresh Air,” Alexander described how the collapse of Lancaster’s glassware industry and the town’s subsequent decline reflect a larger trend in capitalism.
“When you can pay a foreign worker a third or less of what you’re paying a unionized flint glass worker in Lancaster, that’s an element, but it’s far from the only one,” Alexander said. “We seem to have this shrugging-shoulders belief that this is all some sort of natural evolution, like how the dinosaurs died. But what I’m trying to argue in the book is that some of this, at least in part, results from a series of conscious decisions [by] politicians, economists, business people, financiers.”
Alexander has published works in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Science, Esquire and Glamour magazines. He was a contributing editor at Wired and is a regular contributor to NBCnews.com and Outside Magazine. Alexander currently is based in California.
Alexander’s talk is free and open to the public. Copies of Alexander’s book will be available for purchase in the Kenyon Bookstore, 106 Gaskin Ave. For more information, contact Library and Information Services at 740-427-5834.