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Photo: Dale Robbins

Thomas Frank

Historian

Thomas Frank is an author, columnist and cultural critic who has written several books about conservatism in America and its effects on government and the economy. His most recent book is Pity the Billionaire, about the Republican Party’s largely-successful campaign to direct national anger regarding the 2008 financial meltdown at big government, rather than at big business.

Frank hails from the suburbs of Kansas City, an area which figured prominently in his bestseller, What’s the Matter with Kansas? The book examined conservatism in America’s heartland, and the incentives that drive social conservatives in much of the country to vote against their own economic interests. A follow-up book, The Wrecking Crew, focused on the rise of prominent conservative government officials who have made it their mission to dismantle the government in which they work.

Frank is also a regular columnist for Harper’s; he writes the magazine’s “Easy Chair” column, the longest-running column in American history. Previously, he penned the Wall Street Journal’s “The Tilting Yard” column from 2008 to 2010. He is a founding editor of The Baffler, an art and criticism journal that he edited from 1988 until 2010.