Day: August 3, 2010

The Big Burn

I am always thrilled when I see an op-ed column in the New York Times by Timothy Egan.  It is not because I’ve actually met him, or because I think his book The Worst Hard Time is a terrific history of the Dust Bowl – although both are true. I’m thrilled because he is the only semi-regular columnist in the print version of the Times who provides thoughtful commentary from outside the New York-to-Washington echo chamber.  You see, Egan is third generation Pacific Northwesterner, and that fact infuses his writing – whether it be an opinion column in the Times or his latest book, The Big Burn. I had the chance to meet and talk with Egan when I introduced him at our National Main Streets Conference in Seattle several years ago.  His comments at the time on the future of small town rural America were insightful and challenging.  His opinion columns in the Times provide similar insights from a different perspective that is uniquely (among his columnist peers) western. The Big Burn is the …