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February 12, 2019
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Woodbury Room
Jones Library
43 Amity Street

Amherst, MA 01002
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CANCELLED! The Locals: When a Billionaire Takes Over a Small Town in New England - On the Same Page-Amherst

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

The Locals chronicles the complexity of life in a western Massachusetts town where people grapple with earning a living, family issues, class antagonisms and the lure of an apparently benevolent politics without democracy. The townspeople of Howland face problems no different from many Americans during these tumultuous times, trying to make sense of their lives and what it means to live in a social and political community. When a billionaire promises to take care of all the town’s needs we hear echoes in our national politics. The voices of resentment among the townspeople call to mind a nation that is unsure of itself and losing its grip on its most basic political values.

About the presenter:
Ray La Raja is a professor in political science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and associate director of the UMass Poll, which conducts Internet-based surveys of voters nationally. His research focuses on political parties, interest groups, elections and campaign finance. He is the co-author with Brian Schaffner of Campaign Finance and Political Polarization: When Purists Prevail (U. Michigan Press 2015) and Small Change: Money, Political Parties and Campaign Finance Reform (U. Michigan Press 2008). He has been the recipient of grants from the National Science Foundation JEHT Foundation, and the Hewlett Foundation. He is founding editor of The Forum, an electronic journal of applied research in contemporary American politics.  He received his B.A. and M.P.P. from Harvard University and his PhD in political science from UC Berkeley.

About On the Same Page - Amherst:
The 2019 On the Same Page community reading program features the fiction title The Locals by Jonathan Dee. The entire Amherst community is invited to read the book and participate in the related programs. A variety of programs are being offered to enrich the reading experience of this title and to encourage dialog about the themes the book presents, particularly particularly income inequality, money and power, and the great houses of the Berkshires.

On the Same Page - Amherst is sponsored by Eversource.