Thomas Frank: Who is the forgotten man?

Featuring American political analyst, historian and journalist Thomas Frank



2 March 2017


Eastern Avenue Auditorium, Eastern Avenue, University of Sydney


Public forum

In his victory speech following the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump proclaimed that the "forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer”. 

American political analyst, historian and journalist Thomas Frank has long chronicled the decline of the American middle class and the cries for more meaningful action on income inequality. In his recent book, Listen Liberal, he warned that the Democrats are a class party in the most basic sense of the phrase, and that the socioeconomic group whose interests they represent most enthusiastically – the satisfied and prosperous professional class – simply doesn’t care all that much about income inequality.

During his visit to Australia, Thomas spoke on the Democratic Party’s failures over the last few decades and looked at the rise of the American Right, which has become reinvigorated by the arrival of hard times.

Following his address, he was joined by the Centre's academic director and senior lecturer David Smith for further discussion and an audience Q&A.



  • Thomas Frank
    Former columnist for The Wall Street Journal

    Thomas Frank spoke at a USSC event in 2017. He is the author of Listen Liberal, Pity the Billionaire, The Wrecking Crew, and What's the Matter with Kansas? A former columnist for The Wall Street Journal and Harper's, Frank is the founding editor of The Baffler. Thomas Frank also writes for The Guardian

  • Dr David Smith
    Dr David Smith
    Senior Lecturer in American Politics and Foreign Policy, United States Studies Centre (jointly appointed with the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Sydney)

    David Smith is jointly appointed between the US Studies Centre and the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Sydney. His research examines political relations between states and minorities, with a focus on religion in the US. His book Religious Persecution and Political Order in the United States was published by Cambridge University Press in 2015.