W&L's fall, winter, and spring weekend seminars continue to be a popular feature of the Alumni College, for the programs offer participants a substantive weekend getaway in the beautiful environs of Lexington and Rockbridge County. Participants stay in local inns, with the program, receptions, dinner, and lunch on campus. The per person cost of each of these programs is $195. Programs begin on Friday afternoon and conclude after lunch on Saturday.
The annual Tom Wolfe Weekend Seminar is sponsored by the W&L Class of 1951 in honor of their classmate Tom Wolfe. Last year's program featured two distinguished writers, Geraldine Brooks and Tony Horwitz, who focused on the topic "A Writer's Use of History." This year's seminar will examine our current economic crisis. The featured writer is P.J. O'Rourke. With more than one million words of trenchant journalism under his byline and more citations in The Penguin Dictionary of Humorous Quotations than any living writer, P.J. O'Rourke has established himself as America's premier political satirist. He is the best-selling author of 12 books, including Parliament of Whores, Give War a Chance, Eat the Rich, The CEO of the Sofa and Peace Kills. Of his 2007 release, On the Wealth of Nations, Publishers Weekly writes: "A witty Cliff Notes, with plenty of challenges for the armchair economist to wrap his head around." Both Time and The Wall Street Journal have labeled O'Rourke "the funniest writer in America."
Working with two distinguished economists from W&L, Art Goldsmith and Jim Casey, O'Rourke will address our current economic predicament, the politics that got us into it, the global forces that affect the American economy, and prospects for recovery. The Saturday portion of the seminar will look more closely at a "rogues gallery" of powerful personalities who led us into the current crisis; the curious revolving door between Wall Street and Washington, DC; the price of energy and its impact on the environment; the viability of "green jobs" under the Obama administration; bio-fuels and global food shortages; and the future of wind technology. It promises to be a lively weekend, perhaps even a vaguely reassuring one.
Tom Wolfe will make some concluding remarks.