Upcoming Event: Sleeping Giant author on how the ‘new working class’ is transforming America

sleeping giant2There was a time when America’s working class was seen as the backbone of the economy with considerable political, economic, and moral authority. In recent decades, the working class has transformed as far more female and racially diverse workers have been employed by the restaurant, retail, health care, and other service industries. At the same time, this new working class has been marginalized, if not ignored, by politicians and pundits.

As Tamara Draut makes clear in an important and timely new book, Sleeping Giant: How the New Working Class Will Transform America, this is changing, swiftly and dramatically. As the November election draws near, Tamara Draut will be visiting Oklahoma to discuss her book at a pair of public events in Tulsa and Oklahoma City:

  • On Wednesday, October 5th at 7:00 pm, OK Policy and BookSmart Tulsa will co-sponsor a discussion of the book at Tulsa’s Woody Guthrie Center. The event is free and open to the public. Find more information and let us know you’re coming on the BookSmart Tulsa event page;
  • On Thursday, October 6th, Draut will be the featured speaker at the Central Oklahoma Community Forum’s 2016 Labor-Religion luncheon. The event, beginning at 11:30 am, is at Fairview Baptist Church, 1700 Northeast 7th Street, Oklahoma City. Lunch will be served free of charge, but space is limited. You must register in advance no later than Thursday,  September 29th by calling Linda Smith at (405) 634-4030 or by emailing cocforum@sbcglobal.net. When making your reservation, please indicate the number and names of people who will be attending.

Tamara Draut is the Vice President for Policy and Research at Demos, one of our nation’s leading public policy organizations working for an America where we all have an equal say in our democracy and an equal chance in our economy. Draut is behind Demos’s groundbreaking work on household indebtedness, middle-class insecurity, and the economic challenges facing young people. In addition to Sleeping Giant, she is the author of Strapped: Why America’s 20- and 30-Somethings Can’t Get Ahead, published in 2006.

Sleeping Giant is the first major examination of the new working class and the role it will play in our economic and political future. Blending moving individual narratives, historical background, and sophisticated analysis, Draut forcefully argues that this newly energized class is far along in the process of changing America for the better. With “Fight for $15” minimum-wage protests popping up throughout the country (and in some places winning) and economic inequality becoming recognized as one of the defining issues of our time, today’s working class will soon become impossible to ignore and foolish to dismiss. Sleeping Giant is the first book to tell the story of this extraordinary transformation in full and inspiring detail.

Senator Elizabeth Warren says of Sleeping Giant: “It is raw. It is honest. And it is powerful. It is about the conversation we need to have in this country.” Barbara Ehrenreich says: “Books about the state of the American working class do not usually fill me with optimism, but Tamara Draut’s thorough and lively account of the ‘new working class’ that inhabits our ‘bargain-basement economy’ is a big exception!”

We hope you will join us October 5th or 6th to hear Tamara Draut. Copies of Sleeping Giant will be available for sale at the events through Magic City Books in Tulsa and Full Circle Books in Oklahoma City or can be ordered online here.


Former Executive Director David Blatt joined OK Policy in 2008 and served as its Executive Director from 2010 to 2019. He previously served as Director of Public Policy for Community Action Project of Tulsa County and as a budget analyst for the Oklahoma State Senate. He has a Ph.D. in political science from Cornell University and a B.A. from the University of Alberta. David has been selected as Political Scientist of the Year by the Oklahoma Political Science Association, Local Social Justice Champion by the Dan Allen Center for Social Justice, and Public Citizen of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers.

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