Photo courtesy of USA Today
East graduate Thomas Frank returned to his hometown to promote his new book, Pity the Billionaire, at the Central Library in Downtown Kansas City. Almost exactly three years ago Frank promoted his book What’s the Matter with Kansas at the same location. Both books are bestsellers and valued for their political angles and historical references. On Monday, Oct. 29, Frank discussed his new book to an audience of over 300.
Pity the Billionaire is about the current economic situations’ impact on politics. In 2009, Frank attended the first Tea Party rally outside the White House in Washington D.C. He thought the rally was “a joke,” but he recognized the similarities between the Tea Party protest movement and the protests in the 1930s during the Great Depression, and became interested in the subject. Frank had no intention of writing another book about politics after What’s the Matter with Kansas, but after attending the protest he felt compelled to do so.
While he was at East, Frank was part of the debate team, and he stated that the debates founded a solid base for public speaking. Frank graduated from East in 1983, and went to the University of Kansas to study journalism. He also studied history at the University of Chicago.
Frank started out his journalistic career as a columnist for the Wall Street Journal. He’s currently a columnist for Harper’s Magazine.