August 30, 2002
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—Political commentator Kevin Phillips will speak to first-year students at Amherst College about “Your Generation and Politics” on Tuesday, Sept. 24, at 4 p.m. in Johnson Chapel. The annual Croxton Fund Lecture is free and open to the public, but seating is limited and tickets are required. Tickets are distributed first to first-year students and faculty teaching first-year seminars at Amherst College; the remaining tickets will be available to other Amherst students, faculty and the public on a first-come-first-served basis on Tuesday, Sept. 17, and Wednesday, Sept. 18, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Keefe Campus Center at Amherst College. There is a limit of two tickets to each person. Half the tickets will be distributed each day.

Phillips, editor of The American Political Report, columnist at the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal, and a regular commentator on National Public Radio, is the author most recently of Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich (2002), among many other books.

A graduate of Colgate University, Phillips studied history and economic history at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and received his J.D. from the Harvard Law School. He worked in Washington, D.C., notably as an analyst of political and voting patterns for the Republican presidential campaign in 1968, an experience that informed his first book, The Emerging Republican Majority (1969), hailed by Newsweek as the “political bible of the Nixon era.”

In 1984, The New Republic wrote, “Kevin Phillips is just about the only writer who tries to understand the immediate political situation at the grassroots level and place it in some sort of larger social and historical context.” A decade later, the magazine described his eighth book, Arrogant Capital (1994), as “full of the interesting analogies across space and time that set (Phillips) apart from anybody who has written about American politics in recent years.” Time said of Arrogant Capital “Classic Phillips: In-depth analysis, grounded in American political history.”

History underpinned the analysis in Phillps’s influential The Politics of Rich and Poor (1990). The Boston Globe noted his argument that “the 1980’s parallel two earlier periods of American history; the Gilded Age of the late 19th century and the Roaring Twenties.” The New York Times Book Review remarked that “What is interesting and original about Mr. Phillips’ perspective is that he focuses... on the conservative anti-government periods of capitalist expansion.”

The Croxton Lecture Fund was created in 1988 by William M. Croxton ’36 in memory of his parents, Ruth L. and Hugh W. Croxton. Income from this fund is used to bring lecturers with substantial reputations to Amherst College for the purposes of educating Amherst students. A broad range of views will be represented by Croxton Lecturers.