Book authors will talk about wealth, inequality, and division
Chuck Collins

Book authors will talk about wealth, inequality, and division

BRATTLEBORO — “The Rich Get Richer: How Our Quest to Accumulate Wealth has Divided America” will be the topic of a conversation between author/journalist Michael Mechanic and local author and campaigner Chuck Collins, at 7 p.m., on Tuesday, Aug. 3, at 118 Elliot, 118 Elliot St.

Since Mechanic and Collins share overlapping interests, “their dialogue about the surprising advantages and pitfalls of wealth hoarding promises to be as lively as it is informative,” event organizers write in a news release.

This event is live, indoors, and limited to 50 people. Registration is advised at

Mechanic is a veteran senior editor at Mother Jones whose writing and editing have resulted in dozens of journalism awards. He is author of the new book, Jackpot: How the Super-Rich Really Live –and How Their Wealth Harms Us All.

His work at Mother Jones has often focused on social and criminal justice, racial disparities, mass incarceration, economic inequality, and corporate shenanigans.

Since writing Jackpot, he's been looking more at the ways the wealthiest Americans manipulate the system to their advantage. He lives in Oakland, California, but “grew up messing around in the Windham woods and brooks with his local cousins,” he said in the news release. “Windham County is my second home, dear to my heart.”

His late mother, Maggie Newton, grew up on a farm near Hamilton Falls in Jamaica, where her parents, David and Margaret Newton, established the Newton School for boys; she later moved to Brattleboro and played in the Windham Community Orchestra.

“I'm excited to finally meet Chuck in person, and for this chance to share our experiences writing about a topic of such great local resonance as wealth moves into this state and creates financial opportunities but also huge challenges for long-time Vermonters,” Mechanic said.

Collins is is an expert on U.S. inequality and the racial wealth divide. He is the author of the new book The Wealth Hoarders: How Billionaires Pay Millions to Hide Trillions, and Born on Third Base, among other books.

He is also the director of the Program on Inequality and the Common Good at the Institute for Policy Studies, where he co-edits He and his wife Mary live with a flock of unruly chickens on Mineral Springs Farm in Guilford.

“I'm thrilled that we can host Michael in Brattleboro on his trip to Vermont,” said Collins. “The growing concentration of wealth and power is disrupting everything we care about and we need to better understand these forces and explore ways to reverse them.”

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