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View other events for the week of 5/ 8/2012
Tim Noah talks with Paul Pierson about The Great Divergence: America’s Growing Inequality
Date Tuesday May 08
Time 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Location Details
Hillside Club, 2286 Cedar Street, Berkeley CA 94709
Event Type Speaker
Emailoffice [at]
“This is the book the 99% has been waiting for. Crisply lucid and brilliantly argued, THE GREAT DIVERGENCE manages to entertain at the same time that it explains. Best of all, Noah offers some strikingly sensible steps to undo the economic polarization that is tearing America apart.”
-- Barbara Ehrenreich

How did “the 1 percent” pull away from “the 99 percent”? A probing and provocative exploration of income inequality in America, and the dangers it poses to our democracy.

For the past three decades, America has steadily become a nation of haves and have-nots. Our incomes are, increasingly, drastically unequal: the top 1% of Americans collect almost 20% of the nation’s income—more than double their share in 1973. We have less equality of income than Venezuela, Kenya, or Yemen.

What economics Nobelist Paul Krugman terms “the Great Divergence” has until now been treated as little more than a talking point, a club to be wielded in ideological battles. But it may be the most important change in this country during our lifetimes—a sharp, fundamental shift in the character of American society, and not at all for the better.

The income gap has been blamed on everything from computers to immigration, but its causes and consequences call for a patient, non-partisan exploration. In The Great Divergence, based on his award-winning series of articles in Slate, Timothy Noah delivers this urgently needed inquiry, ignoring political rhetoric and drawing on the best work of contemporary researchers to peer beyond conventional wisdom. Noah explains not only how the Great Divergence has come about, but why it threatens American democracy—and most important, how we can begin to reverse it.

Coming fast on the heels of the Occupy Wall Street movement and at the start of a presidential election year when inequality will be front and center, The Great Divergence is a vitally necessary primer, history, and manifesto that will inform and drive a long-overdue political debate.

“An important, exemplary, and finally passionate work of long-form journalism” -- Hendrik Hertzberg

"A lucid, original, fascinating, and very useful guide to the biggest threat to America's future as a democracy. Noah has pulled together the whole array of explanations for the increasing Third World-ization of America—and he has sorted them out for us, with a guide to which are most important and what we can do about them. This is the book that should have been given out at the Occupy movements and—well, to everyone." -- James Fallows

Timothy Noah was recently named “TRB”, the lead columnist at The New Republic. He wrote for Slate for a dozen years, and previously served at the Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, and the Washington Monthly. He edited two collections of the writings of his late wife, Marjorie Williams, including the New York Times bestseller The Woman at the Washington Zoo. Noah received the 2011 Hillman Prize, the highest award for public service magazine journalism, for the series (of which Nicholas Kristof wrote in the NYT, "An excellent series") in Slate that forms the basis of The Great Divergence.

Tim talks with Paul Pierson, the John Gross Professor of Political Science at UC Berkeley, and author of several books, including the recent Winner Take All Politics, this evening.

Tuesday, May 8
Hillside Club (2286 Cedar Street, Berkeley)

Tickets $12 ($6 students, OLLI, and Hillside members) in advance only at Brown Paper Tickets online or 800-838-3006; $15 at the door (all)
Added to the calendar on Tuesday Mar 20th, 2012 11:57 AM
by Tuesday Mar 20th, 2012 11:57 AM
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