Jan 10, 2019
Jon Grand
Legitimate Concerns of both Liberals & Conservatives

Jon's Bio:

I began my career at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources initially preparing engineering plans for wastewater treatment plants but ended up managing the Federal-State environmental assistance programs. From there I went to the Council of State Governments, a state-sponsored think tank that provides policy input to state governments. Finally, I went to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency first as head of Public Affairs and Community Relations, then as Deputy Director of the Water Division, And finally as head of the Office of International Activities running the U.S. environmental assistance program for post Soviet Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. I was tapped by the US Ambassador to Denmark to become the first regional Environmental Attache serving all the embassies in the Nordic-Baltic region. After retiring, I went to work at the Book Stall in Winnetka, managing the store for a number of years until recently when I dropped back to simply being a bookseller...a job I truly enjoy


Jon's Talk:

I propose to talk about three books: The first is It Can't Happen Here a novel written by Sinclair Lewis in 1935; second I'll talk about Fascism by Madelein Albright; finally, I'll talk about Strangers in Their Own Land by Arlie Hochschild. Sinclair Lewis' novel, written in the 30's is a cautionary tale about the fragility of democracy and the possibility of fascism taking hold. Albright's book looks at what fascism is and isn't, the conditions under which it flourishes, and a look at the threat it poses to American democracy. Hochschild is a Univ. of California - Berkely sociologist. Not surprising, she had little contact with the far right and wondered what was it that they were after. She spent 5 years in the rural conservative South learning what these "forgotten " Americans are angry about and what they value. 

The three books form a nice point - counter-point around an issue that should be of concern to all Americans.

I think the choices get to your desired end of looking at the concerns of liberals and conservatives in this period of increasingly divisive politics.As I'll attempt to show, the grievances of both the left and the right are legitimate and that the values of each are not dissimilar. Both want a better more just America but what that means is often a matter of dispute.