Midtown Scholar Bookstore-Cafe
Award-winning Independent Booksellers | Since 2001

Who's in town

An Evening with Eliza Griswold
Jun
23
6:00 PM18:00

An Evening with Eliza Griswold

The Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome prizewinning journalist Eliza Griswold to Harrisburg as she presents her new book, Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America. Book signing to follow discussion. This event is free and open to the public.

AmityProsperity_NewSub.jpg

About the Book:

In Amity and Prosperity, the prizewinning poet and journalist Eliza Griswold tells the story of the energy boom’s impact on a small town at the edge of Appalachia and one woman’s transformation from a struggling single parent to an unlikely activist.

Stacey Haney is a local nurse working hard to raise two kids and keep up her small farm when the fracking boom comes to her hometown of Amity, Pennsylvania. Intrigued by reports of lucrative natural gas leases in her neighbors’ mailboxes, she strikes a deal with a Texas-based energy company. Soon trucks begin rumbling past her small farm, a fenced-off drill site rises on an adjacent hilltop, and domestic animals and pets start to die. When mysterious sicknesses begin to afflict her children, she appeals to the company for help. Its representatives insist that nothing is wrong.

Alarmed by her children’s illnesses, Haney joins with neighbors and a committed husband-and-wife legal team to investigate what’s really in the water and air. Against local opposition, Haney and her allies doggedly pursue their case in court and begin to expose the damage that’s being done to the land her family has lived on for centuries. Soon a community that has long been suspicious of outsiders faces wrenching new questions about who is responsible for their fate, and for redressing it: The faceless corporations that are poisoning the land? The environmentalists who fail to see their economic distress? A federal government that is mandated to protect but fails on the job? Drawing on seven years of immersive reporting, Griswold reveals what happens when an imperiled town faces a crisis of values, and a family wagers everything on an improbable quest for justice.

Untitled-14.jpg

About the Author:

Eliza Griswold, a Guggenheim fellow, is the author of a collection of poems, Wideawake Field (FSG, 2007), and a nonfiction book, The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam (FSG, 2010), a New York Times bestseller that was awarded the J. Anthony Lukas Prize. She is the translator of I Am the Beggar of the World: Landays from Contemporary Afghanistan (FSG, 2015).

View Event →
Nick Foles Book Signing
Jun
29
2:30 PM14:30

Nick Foles Book Signing

978-1-4964-3649-8.jpg

The Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome Super Bowl MVP and Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Nick Foles to Harrisburg to sign copies of his new book, Believe It: My Journey of Success, Failure, and Overcoming the Odds. This is a ticketed book signing event. 

To purchase tickets, visit: http://www.midtownscholar.com/tickets

*Ticket purchase includes (one) copy of BELIEVE IT and admission for up to (two) people to the signing line. Cost of a book + ticket is $30 tax-inclusive. Copy of BELIEVE IT will be given to ticket-holders as they enter the venue. No more than (five) copies will be permitted per ticket-holder. 

*Your order-confirmation acts as your ticket to the signing line. The name on the order-confirmation must match our signing line guest-list. 

*Doors open at 2:15pm. Book signing begins promptly at 2:30pm and ends promptly at 4:30pm.

*The signing line will be strictly limited to signing copies of BELIEVE IT only. No souvenirs, photos, memorabilia, jerseys, etc. will be signed, and no personalizations will be permitted. 

*Due to timing constraints, no posed photos are allowed. Action-only photos will be permitted.

*Customers must purchase copies of BELIEVE IT through the Midtown Scholar Bookstore. No outside copies will be allowed into the signing line.

About the Book:

When the Philadelphia Eagles’ starting quarterback went down with a torn ACL in week 14 of the 2017 NFL season, many fans—and commentators—assumed the Eagles’ season was over.

Instead, Nick Foles came off the bench and, against all odds, led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl victory in history.

How did Nick get it done—winning MVP honors, silencing the critics, and shocking the world? How did the man who was on the verge of retiring just two seasons earlier stay optimistic and rally the team to an astounding win? How did he stay ready despite numerous trades and discouraging injuries, able to step up in the moment and perform at the top of his game?

Believe It offers a behind-the-scenes look at Nick’s unlikely path to the Super Bowl, the obstacles that threatened to hold him back, his rediscovery of his love for the game, and the faith that grounded him through it all. Learn from the way Nick handled the trials and tribulations that made him into the man he is today—and discover a path to your own success.

ct-fantasy-football-week-15-nick-foles-20171214.jpg

About the Author:

Originally a third-round draft choice (88th overall) by the Eagles in the 2012 NFL Draft, Nick Foles spent the first three seasons of his pro career with Philadelphia prior to stints with St. Louis (2015) and Kansas City (2016). The Eagles’ all-time leader in passer rating (94.2), Foles has completed 776-of-1,285 (60.4%) attempts for 9,215 yards, 56 TDs and an 88.2 passer rating in 42 career games (36 starts). He lives in Philadelphia with his Wife and Daughter.

View Event →
Book Launch with John Fea
Jun
30
6:00 PM18:00

Book Launch with John Fea

The Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome Historian and Messiah College Professor John Fea as he presents his new book, Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump. This event is free and open to the public. Book signing to follow discussion. 

9780802876416.jpg

About the Book:

A historian’s discerning, critical take on current American politics.

“Believe me” may be the most commonly used phrase in Donald Trump’s lexicon. Whether about building a wall or protecting a Christian heritage, the refrain has been constant. And to the surprise of many, a good 80 percent of white evangelicals have believed Trump—at least enough to help propel him into the White House. 

Historian John Fea is not surprised, however—and in these pages he explains how we have arrived at this unprecedented moment in American politics. An evangelical Christian himself, Fea argues that the embrace of Donald Trump is the logical outcome of a long-standing evangelical approach to public life defined by the politics of fear, the pursuit of worldly power, and a nostalgic longing for an American past. 

As insightful as it is timely, Fea’s Believe Me challenges Christians to replace fear with hope, the pursuit of power with humility, and nostalgia with history.

Fea1.jpg

About the Author: 

John Fea is professor of American history at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. His previous books include Was America Founded as a Christian Nation? A Historical Introduction, and he blogs regularly at The Way of Improvement Leads Home.

View Event →
An Evening with Ruby Lal
Jul
18
7:00 PM19:00

An Evening with Ruby Lal

Empress.jpg

"Four centuries ago, a Muslim woman ruled an empire. Her legend still lives, but her story was lost — until now."

This July, the Midtown Scholar Bookstore is thrilled to welcome acclaimed historian Ruby Lal to Harrisburg as she presents her new book, Empress: The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan. Book signing to follow discussion. This event is free and open to the public. 

About the Book: 

When it came to hunting, she was a master shot. As a dress designer, few could compare. An ingenious architect, she innovated the use of marble in her parents’ mausoleum on the banks of the Yamuna River that inspired her stepson’s Taj Mahal. And she was both celebrated and reviled for her political acumen and diplomatic skill, which rivaled those of her female counterparts in Europe and beyond.

In 1611, thirty-four-year-old Nur Jahan, daughter of a Persian noble and widow of a subversive official, became the twentieth and most cherished wife of the Emperor Jahangir. While other wives were secluded behind walls, Nur ruled the vast Mughal Empire alongside her husband, and governed in his stead as his health failed and his attentions wandered from matters of state. An astute politician and devoted partner, Nur led troops into battle to free Jahangir when he was imprisoned by one of his own officers. She signed and issued imperial orders, and coins of the realm bore her name.

Acclaimed historian Ruby Lal uncovers the rich life and world of Nur Jahan, rescuing this dazzling figure from patriarchal and Orientalist clichés of romance and intrigue, and giving new insight into the lives of women and girls in the Mughal Empire, even where scholars claim there are no sources. Nur’s confident assertion of authority and talent is revelatory. In Empress, she finally receives her due in a deeply researched and evocative biography that awakens us to a fascinating history.

About the Author: 

Ruby Lal is professor of South Asian history at Emory University. Her previous books are Coming of Age in Nineteenth Century India: The Girl-Child and the Art of Playfulness and Domesticity and Power in the Early Mughal World.

Lal, Ruby (c) Myron McGhee.jpg
View Event →
An Evening with Beck Dorey-Stein
Jul
21
6:00 PM18:00

An Evening with Beck Dorey-Stein

The Midtown Scholar Bookstore and WITF are pleased to welcome former White House Stenographer Beck Dorey-Stein to Harrisburg! Dorey-Stein will discuss her new memoir, From the Corner of the Oval.  Audience Q&A and book signing to follow discussion. This event is free and open to the public!

Universal Pictures and Anonymous Content have optioned the film rights, which is now in development. Read more here!

Corner-of-Oval-cover.jpg

About the Book:

The compulsively readable, behind-the-scenes memoir that takes readers inside the Obama White House, through the eyes of a young staffer learning the ropes, falling in love, and finding her place in the world.

In 2012, Beck Dorey-Stein is working five part-time jobs and just scraping by when a posting on Craigslist lands her, improbably, in the Oval Office as one of Barack Obama’s stenographers. The ultimate D.C. outsider, she joins the elite team who accompany the president wherever he goes, recorder and mic in hand. On whirlwind trips across time zones, Beck forges friendships with a dynamic group of fellow travelers—young men and women who, like her, leave their real lives behind to hop aboard Air Force One in service of the president.

As she learns to navigate White House protocols and more than once runs afoul of the hierarchy, Beck becomes romantically entangled with a consummate D.C. insider, and suddenly the political becomes all too personal.

Against the backdrop of glamour, drama, and intrigue, this is the story of a young woman making unlikely friendships, getting her heart broken, learning what truly matters, and, in the process, discovering her voice.

Dorey-Stein - credit Lawrence Jackson (hi res).jpg

About the Author: 

Beck Dorey-Stein is a native of Narberth, Pennsylvania, and a graduate of Wesleyan University. Prior to her five years in the White House, she taught high school English in Hightstown, New Jersey; Washington, D.C.; and Seoul, South Korea. This is her first book.

View Event →
An Evening with Darnell Moore
Aug
11
6:00 PM18:00

An Evening with Darnell Moore

In conjunction with the LGBT Center of Central PA, the Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome renowned activist Darnell Moore to Harrisburg as he presents his new memoir, No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America. This event is free and open to the public. Book signing to follow presentation.

NoAshesInTheFire.jpg

About the Book: 

From a leading journalist and activist comes a brave, beautifully wrought memoir.

When Darnell Moore was fourteen, three boys from his neighborhood tried to set him on fire. They cornered him while he was walking home from school, harassed him because they thought he was gay, and poured a jug of gasoline on him. He escaped, but just barely. It wasn't the last time he would face death.

Three decades later, Moore is an award-winning writer, a leading Black Lives Matter activist, and an advocate for justice and liberation. In No Ashes in the Fire, he shares the journey taken by that scared, bullied teenager who not only survived, but found his calling. Moore's transcendence over the myriad forces of repression that faced him is a testament to the grace and care of the people who loved him, and to his hometown, Camden, NJ, scarred and ignored but brimming with life. Moore reminds us that liberation is possible if we commit ourselves to fighting for it, and if we dream and create futures where those who survive on society's edges can thrive.

No Ashes in the Fire is a story of beauty and hope-and an honest reckoning with family, with place, and with what it means to be free.

About the Author: 

Darnell L. Moore is an editor-at-large at CASSIUS (Urban One), a columnist at LogoTV.com and NewNextNow.com, and a contributor at Mic, where he hosted their widely viewed digital series The Movement. He writes regularly for Ebony, Advocate, Vice, and Guardian. Moore was one of the original Black Lives Matter organizers, organizing bus trips from New York to Ferguson after the murder of Michael Brown. Moore is a writer-in-residence at the Center of African American Religion, Sexual Politics, and Social Justice at Columbia University, has taught at NYU, Rutgers, Fordham, and Vassar, and was trained at Princeton Theological Seminary. In 2016, he was named one of The Root 100, and in 2015 he was named one of Ebony magazine's Power 100 and Planned Parenthood's 99 Dream Keepers. He divides his time between Brooklyn and Atlanta.

Moore, Darnell (Erik Carter).jpg
View Event →
AN EVENING WITH CARA SUE ACHTERBERG
Aug
14
7:00 PM19:00

AN EVENING WITH CARA SUE ACHTERBERG

The Midtown Scholar is pleased to welcome Pennsylvania bestselling author Cara Sue Achterberg as she presents her new book, Another Good Dog: One Family and Fifty Foster Dogs. A book signing will follow discussion. This event is free and open to the public.

About the Book

9781681777931.jpeg

When Cara felt her teenage children slipping away and saw an empty nest on the horizon, she decided the best way to fill that void was with dogs―lots of them―and so her foster journey began.

In 2015, her Pennsylvania farm became a haven for Operation Paws for Homes. There were the nine puppies at once, which arrived with less than a day’s notice; a heart- worm positive dog; a deeply traumatized stray pup from Iraq; and countless others who just needed a gentle touch and a warm place to sleep. Operation Paws for Homes rescues dogs from high-kill shelters in the rural south and shuttles them north to foster homes like Cara’s on the way to their forever homes.

What started as a search for a good dog led to an epiphany that there wasn’t just one that could fill the hole left in her heart from her children gaining independence―she could save dozens along the way. The stories of these remarkable dogs― including an eighty-pound bloodhound who sang arias for the neighbors―and the joy they bring to Cara and her family (along with a few chewed sofa cushions) fill the pages of this touching and inspiring new book that reveals the wonderful rewards of fostering.

About the Author

Cara Sue Achterberg.jpg

Cara Sue Achterberg is the author of several books, including I’m Not Her and Girls Weekend, which were national bestsellers. She lives in New Freedom, Pennsylvania.

View Event →
An Evening with William Oldfield and Victoria Bruce
Aug
29
7:00 PM19:00

An Evening with William Oldfield and Victoria Bruce

The Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome William Oldfield and Victoria Bruce to Harrisburg to present their new book, INSPECTOR OLDFIELD AND THE BLACK HAND SOCIETY: America's Original Gangsters and the U.S. Postal Detective who Brought Them to Justice. This event is free and open to the public. Book signing to follow discussion.

INSPECTOR OLDFIELD Cover.jpg

About the Book:

The incredible true story of the US Post Office Inspector who took down the deadly Black Hand, a turn-of-the-century Italian-American secret society that preyed on immigrants across America’s industrial heartland—featuring fascinating and never-before-seen documents and photos from the Oldfield family’s private collection.

Before the emergence of prohibition-era gangsters like Al Capone and Lucky Luciano, there was the Black Hand: an early twentieth-century Sicilian-American crime ring that preyed on immigrants from the old country. In those days, the FBI was in its infancy, and local law enforcement were clueless against the dangers—most refused to believe that organized crime existed. Terrorized victims rarely spoke out, and the criminals ruled with terror—until Inspector Frank Oldfield came along.

In 1899, Oldfield became America’s 156th Post Office Inspector—joining the ranks of the most powerful federal law enforcement agents in the country. Based in Columbus, Ohio, the unconventional Oldfield brilliantly took down train robbers, murderers, and embezzlers from Ohio to New York to Maryland. Oldfield was finally able to penetrate the dreaded Black Hand when a tip-off put him onto the most epic investigation of his career, culminating in the 1909 capture of sixteen mafiosos in a case that spanned four states, two continents—and ended in the first international organized crime conviction in the country.

Hidden away by the Oldfield family for one hundred years and covered-up by rival factions in the early 20th century Post Office Department, this incredible true story out of America’s turn-of-the-century heartland will captivate all lovers of history and true crime.

About the Author:

Victoria Bruce Author photo by Peter Cane.jpg

Victoria Bruce is the author of No Apparent Danger, Hostage Nation, and Sellout. She is the recipient of the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for excellence in broadcast journalism for her film, The Kidnapping of Ingrid Betancourt. She lives in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.

William H Oldfield - Larry T. Thornton_Thornton Studios Annapolis, Maryland.jpg

William Oldfield is an archivist and historical lecturer. He is currently engaged in entrepreneurial pursuits in the areas of environmental and sustainable operations. He grew up in Akron, Ohio, and currently lives in Annapolis, Maryland.

View Event →
An Evening with Michael Ausiello
Sep
29
6:00 PM18:00

An Evening with Michael Ausiello

In conjunction with the LGBT Center, the Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome author and TVLine.com founder Michael Ausiello to present his memoir, Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies. A book signing will follow discussion. This event is free and open to the public.

About the Book:

In this evocative and gorgeously wrought memoir reminiscent of Rob Sheffield’s Love Is a Mixtape and George Hodgman’s Bettyville, Michael Ausiello—a respected TV columnist and founder and editor-in-chief of TVLine.com—remembers his late husband, and the lessons, love, and laughter that they shared throughout their fourteen years together.

For the past decade, TV fans of all stripes have counted upon Michael Ausiello’s insider knowledge to get the scoop on their favorite shows and stars. From his time at Soaps in Depth to his influential stints at TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly to his current role as founder and editor-in-chief of the wildly popular website TVLine.com, Michael has established himself as the go-to expert when it comes to our most popular form of entertainment.

What many of his fans don’t know, however, is that while his professional life was in full swing, Michael had to endure the greatest of personal tragedies: his husband, Kit Cowan, was diagnosed with a rare and very aggressive form of neuroendocrine cancer. Over the course of eleven months, Kit and Michael did their best to combat the deadly disease, but Kit succumbed to his illness in February 2015.

In this heartbreaking and darkly hilarious memoir, Michael tells the story of his harrowing and challenging last year with Kit while revisiting the thirteen years that preceded it, and how the undeniably powerful bond between him and Kit carried them through all manner of difficulty—always with laughter front and center in their relationship. Instead of a tale of sadness and loss, Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies is an unforgettable, inspiring, and beautiful testament to the resilience and strength of true love.

About the Author

9781501134968.jpg
Ausiello.jpg

Michael Ausiello is the founder and editor-in-chief of TVLine.com, a television entertainment website owned by Penske Media that launched in 2010. Ausiello began his publishing career in 1997 at Soaps In Depth magazine before moving on to TVGuide.com in 2000, where he debuted his signature, spoiler-tinged “Ask Ausiello” column and established himself as a major player in the world of TV journalism. In 2008, he jumped to Entertainment Weekly, where he penned a column in the magazine as well as an award-winning blog on EW.com (both titled “The Ausiello Files”). He currently splits his time between New York City and Los Angeles.

View Event →

An Evening with Todd Mealy
Jun
5
7:00 PM19:00

An Evening with Todd Mealy

The Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome author Todd Mealy to Harrisburg as he presents his new book, Glenn Killinger, All-American: Penn State's World War I Era Sports Hero. This event is free and open to the public. Book signing to follow discussion. 

Cover Image.jpg

About the Book:

This first biography of W. Glenn Killinger highlights his tenure as a nine-time varsity letterman at Penn State, where he emerged as one of the best football, basketball and baseball players in the U.S. Situating Killinger in his time and place, the author explores the ways in which home-front culture during World War I -- focused on heroism, masculinity and sporting culture -- created the demand for sports and sports icons and drove the ascent college athletics in the first quarter of the 20th century.

Mealy.png

About the Author:

Todd Mealy is the author of Glenn Killinger, All American: Penn State's World War I Era Sports HeroThis Is the Rat Speaking: Black Power and the Promise of Racial Consciousness at Franklin and Marshall College in the Age of the Takeover (2017); Legendary Locals of Harrisburg (2014), Aliened American: A Biography of William Howard Day, 1825-1900, Vols. I and II (2010); and Biography of an Antislavery City: Antislavery Activists, Abolitionists, and Underground Railroad Operatives in Harrisburg, Pa (2007). In addition to writing the text for two Dauphin County Historical Markers in Harrisburg, PA, Todd has published in Pennsylvania Heritage and American Heritage. He coauthored From the Pews: The Story of the Bethel AME Church in Harrisburg (2015).

Mealy holds a Ph.D. from Penn State University. He also attained a Master's degree from the same institution, where he was the 2014 recipient of the John S. Patterson Award for academic and creative achievement. In 2018, received the university's Sue Samuelson Award for his doctoral dissertation. 

 

View Event →
An Evening with Madeline Miller
May
23
7:00 PM19:00

An Evening with Madeline Miller

Miller_Circe_sm.jpg

The Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome New York Times Bestselling author Madeline Miller to Harrisburg as she presents her new novel, Circe. This event is free and open to the public. 

“An epic spanning thousands of years that’s also a keep-you-up-all-night page turner.” – Ann Patchett

About the Book:

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child–not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power–the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

With unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language and page-turning suspense, Circe is a triumph of storytelling, an intoxicating epic of family rivalry, palace intrigue, love and loss, as well as a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man’s world.

About the Author:

Madeline Miller was born in Boston and attended Brown University where she earned her BA and MA in Classics. She lives in Narbeth, PA with her husband and two children. The Song of Achilles was awarded the Orange Prize for Fiction and has been translated into twenty-five languages.

MadelineMiller_creditNinaSubin-sm.jpg
View Event →
An Evening with Jared Brock
May
19
7:00 PM19:00

An Evening with Jared Brock

The Midtown Scholar Bookstore is thrilled to welcome author Jared Brock to Harrisburg as he presents his new book, The Road to Dawn: Josiah Henson and the Story That Sparked the Civil War. This talk will be presented alongside a screening of the accompanying documentary, Josiah, narrated by Danny Glover. This event is free and open to the public.

About the Book:

This sweeping biography immortalizes the man who was the inspiration for Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin in an epic tale of courage and bravery in the face of unimaginable trials.

Josiah Henson overcame incredible odds to escape from slavery and improve the lives of hundreds of freedmen throughout his long life. He found international fame–including visits to Windsor Castle and the White House–as the real “Uncle Tom” in the novel that fueled the abolitionist movement and ignited the Civil War. But his story has been mostly lost to history, until now.

A dynamic, driven man with exceptional intelligence and unyielding principles, Henson spent forty-one years in bondage before he was finally able to escape with his wife and four children, carrying the youngest two on his broken shoulders for 600 miles. He eventually settled with his family as a free man across the border in Canada. Once there, Henson agitated for racial equality, raised millions for the abolitionist cause, won a medal at the first World’s Fair in London, and became a beloved preacher. He returned to America and rescued 118 more slaves, including his own brother, and helped purchase land to build what would become one of the final stops on the Underground Railroad, a 500-person freedman settlement called Dawn.

The Road to Dawn retraces Henson’s improbable journey from slavery to freedom and restores a hero of the abolitionist movement to his rightful place in history.

About the Author:

Jared A. Brock is the author of A Year of Living PrayerfullyBearded Gospel Men, and The Road to Dawn. Brock is the director of Over 18Red Light Green Light, and Josiah, and his writing has appeared in Esquire, Huffington Post, and Writer’s Digest.

View Event →
May
18
7:00 PM19:00

Third in the Burg Featuring Music by Pentley Holmes

The Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome Pentley Holmes to Harrisburg for May's Third in the Burg! This event is free and open to the public.

Hailing from Phillipsburg, New Jersey, Pentley Holmes' debut album “Rip Out My Heart,” offers a beautifully rendered glimpse into the depths of human experience. A self taught guitarist, pianist, and vocalist, Pentley's music is a signature blend of contemporary folk and soul pop.

 

View Event →
An Evening with Maya Rao
May
17
7:00 PM19:00

An Evening with Maya Rao

In conjunction with Lancaster Against Pipelines, the Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome Minneapolis Star Tribune writer Maya Rao as she presents her new narrative nonfiction book, Great American Outpost: Dreamers, Mavericks and the Making of an Oil Frontier. Audience Q&A and book signing to take place after the talk.

This event is free and open to the public.

GreatAmericanOutopost.jpg

About the Book:

The story of a twenty-first century American frontier–where the free market reigns supreme as profiteers rush to develop a massive new oilfield.

The word was that you could earn $17,000 a month in the Bakken Oilfield of North Dakota. So they flooded in: the profiteers, deadbeats, ex-cons, dreamers, and doers. And so too did Maya Rao, a journalist who embedded herself in the surreal new American frontier.

With an eye for the dark, humorous, and absurd, Rao set out in steel-toed boots to chronicle the largest oil boom since the 1968 discovery of oil in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Businessmen turned up to restart their careers after bankruptcy or fraud allegations from the financial crisis. An ex-con found his niche as a YouTube celebrity exposing the underside of oilfield life. A high-rolling Englishman blew investors’ money on $400 shots of cognac as authorities started to catch on that his housing developments were part of a worldwide Ponzi scheme.

Part Barbara Ehrenreich, part Upton Sinclair, this is an on-the-ground narrative of capitalism and industrialization as a rural, insular community transformed into a colony of outsiders hustling for profit-a sobering exploration of twenty-first century America that reads like a frontier novel.

About the Author: 

Rao, Maya (cr Xavier Dussaq).jpg

MAYA RAO is a staff writer in the Washington D.C. bureau of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and her work has appeared in the Atlantic, Awl, Philadelphia Inquirer, Longreads, and more.

View Event →