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Longworth, authority on Midwest, to speak at October forum

Barry McNamara
Richard Longworth delivers the keynote address at Monmouth's first Midwest Matters forum in 2009.
Richard C. Longworth, author of the bestselling book, “Caught in the Middle: America’s Heartland in the Age of Globalism,” will be the featured speaker at Monmouth College’s third annual Midwest Matters forum on Oct. 21 at 2 p.m. in the college’s Wells Theater.

Held in conjunction with Homecoming Weekend festivities on campus, the forum examines key economic, political and cultural issues affecting America’s heartland. A senior fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Longworth will discuss how the Midwest is waking up to the challenge of global competition.

“I wrote my book as a wake-up call for the Midwest, deliberately calling attention to the challenges and problems faced by the region,” Longworth said. “This was necessary then – there still was a lot of denial out there. That’s changed. I’m definitely finding now that Midwesterners know what’s going on and know that this time things are different. They are mobilizing to do something about it.”

Longworth acknowledges that some of what he will discuss “is still talk, which is certainly progress compared to the earlier silence. But some is real action – a lot of it along regional lines. Monmouth College and its focus on Midwestern issues is part of this – in fact, the college is a leader.”

In short, said Longworth, “We’re not pretending that we’ve got all the answers, but at least we’re asking the right questions.”

Longworth, who is the author of a weekly blog on Midwest issues (, presented the keynote address at the first Midwest Matters forum in 2009, which focused on improving the economic health of the region.