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W&L Hosts Book Talk with Temple University Professor Bryant Simon

Simon’s book “The Hamlet Fire.”

The History Department at Washington and Lee University presents a book talk with Temple University professor Bryant Simon on March 22 at 5 p.m. in Hillel 101.

The title of his talk, which is free and open to the public, is “The Hamlet Fire and the Deadly Costs of Cheap.”

In this talk, based on his new book, “The Hamlet Fire: Cheap Food, Cheap Government and Cheap Lives” Simon investigates the tragic 1991 chicken processing plant fire in the small town of Hamlet, North Carolina. This was one of the worst accidents in recent American history, causing 25 deaths.

Simon’s interviews with survivors, first responders, workplace-safety experts and local business professionals give a hard-hitting social autopsy of the gruesome event. The book illustrates how this fire was the nearly inevitable product of the rush for deregulation and the even larger American obsession and devotion to the “values of cheap.”

Simon is also the author of “Everything but The Coffee: Learning About America from Starbucks” and “Boardwalk of Dreams: Atlantic City and the Fate of Urban America.”

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