Thomas Frank is probably best known for his regular easy chair column in Harper’s Magazine – the opening essay in which he draws together elements from history culture and politics to make insightful, often unexpected observations into the social-political landscape of our time.
In his columns he has taken on everything from the high cost of tuition and the obsession with austerity in Washington D.C, to the culture of gun violence in America.
He was born in Kansas City Missouri in 1965, and attended the University of Virginia to study history. Although he originally was conservative, and was even briefly involved with the campus Republicans, soon he discovered his interest in writing, and while still an undergrad, he along with a group of friends founded THE BAFFLER magazine, a journal of cultural criticism.
In 1988 he began studying American history at the University of Chicago, from which he received a PhD in 1994. His dissertation was eventually turned into THE CONQUEST OF COOL a book about how industry had successfully commercialized the idea of rebellion and 60’s counterculture. After leaving academia, he became a full time journalist, although his main interest was culture, while writing for the Chicago Reader he became increasingly drawn to political and economic topics from investigating the advertising efforts of Enron, to challenging the dominant free market ideology of the day.
During his career as a newspaper and magazine columnist He also has written four best selling books – His most recent is called Pity the Billionaire: The Hard-times Swindle and the Unlikely Comeback of the Right.