Commentator Kevin Phillips to Discuss Wealth, Democracy

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Political analyst, author and commentator Kevin Phillips will discuss “The New Politics of Wealth and Democracy” in a public lecture at UNC on March 18.

The lecture, at 7:30 p.m. in the Hanes Art Center Auditorium, will be this year’s Weil Lecture on American Citizenship. The lecture, begun in 1915, is endowed by the Weil family of Goldsboro, and there is no charge to attend. This year’s lecture was organized by UNC’s Institute for the Arts and Humanities.

Phillips is “one of our most interesting political commentators and brings to his outlook a wealth of experience in the political arena,” said English Professor John McGowan, who is chair of the Weil lecture committee. “His lecture is geared to this year’s presidential campaign but with the hope of opening up a wider perspective on today’s issues in relation to the history of American politics.”

Educated at Colgate University, the University of Edinburgh and Harvard Law School, Phillips was the chief political and elections analyst for the Republican presidential campaign in 1968 and served as special assistant to the U.S. attorney general for 13 months beginning in 1969. He resigned after the publication of his landmark book, The Emerging Republican Majority, in 1969 to become a newspaper columnist and later a broadcast commentator.

His most recent book, American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune and the Politics of Deceit Under the House of Bush, is on The New York Times bestseller list.

In 1993, The New York Times Book Review said of Phillips: “Through more than 25 years of analysis and prediction, nobody has been as transcendentally right about the outlines of American political change.”

Past Weil lecturers include former Presidents William Howard Taft and Jimmy Carter, former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, former U.S. Solicitor Gen. Walter Dellinger ’63, former N.C. Gov. James Martin, former U.S. Commerce Secretary Juanita Kreps and National Book award-winning author Johnathan Kozol.

Phillips will answer questions and sign copies of his books after the lecture. The books will be available for purchase in the foyer of the auditorium before and after the lecture.