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June 21, 2017
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Downtown Library
100 W 10th Ave.
Eugene, OR 97401

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The America Syndrome

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Author Betsy Hartmann on the nation's history of apocalyptic thinking.

Join Betsy Hartmann for a talk based on her latest work, “The America Syndrome: Apocalypse, War, and Our Call to Greatness.” In this thought-provoking, big-idea book, Hartmann sheds light on a pervasive but largely ignored theme that shapes the American mindset: apocalyptic thinking, or the belief that the end of the world is near.

Tracing our nation's fixation with doomsday from the Puritans to the present, Hartmann makes a compelling case that apocalyptic fears are deeply and negatively intertwined with the American ethos. She shows how apocalyptic thinking has contributed to some of the nation's biggest problems, such as inequality, permanent war, and the exploitation of natural resources. Hartmann encourages readers to reclaim human agency: by changing the way we think, we just might change the world.

Betsy Hartmann is professor emerita of development studies and senior policy analyst of the Population and Development Program at Hampshire College. She is the author of “Reproductive Rights and Wrongs: The Global Politics of Population Control,” and two political thrillers, “The Truth about Fire” and “Deadly Election.”