“Grassroots Gumption”: Populism and Political Action

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Jim Hightower

Jim Hightower, a Texas native whom some regard as a “modern-day political Johnny Appleseed,” will deliver a rousing lecture on populism, political action, and accountability as part of 2007-2008 Weissman Center series Bearing Witness.

Known to many as a lively public commentator, political critic, and advocate for social and economic justice, Hightower disperses his calls for reform and accountability in various media formats and a range of forums. He has spent thirty years addressing environmental concerns, calling attention to the issues that confront and threaten to overwhelm working families, and urging all citizens to contribute spiritedly and purposefully to the democratic process.

Hightower’s lecture will address contemporary political matters, and the history and power of the populist movement. He will discuss his latest book, Swim against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go with the Flow, and the role of political critique in an active democracy.

American historian and writer Studs Terkel has high praise for Hightower, a man whom he believes provides productive alternatives to passivity and cynicism. "Thank God for Jim Hightower,“ Terkel has said, “Instead of leaving us stewing in anger and despair, he rallies us with stories of our own history and of our own neighbors, inspiring us to take charge of our own democratic destiny. And he leaves us laughing and thinking at the same time."

Event Details

Date: Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Time: 7:30 pm
Speaker: Jim Hightower
Place: Gamble Auditorium, Art Building, Mount Holyoke College
Admission: Free and open to the public