Watts to Deliver Kohlenberg-Towne Lecture

Steven Watts will deliver this year’s Kohlenberg-Towne Lecture at 7 p.m., Oct. 25, in the Student Union Building Activities Room. Watts, a professor of history at the University of Missouri-Columbia, will speak about the role Henry Ford played in shaping twentieth-century America. In particular, he will discuss the industrialist’s profound impact on the shaping of consumer values and a culture of self-fulfillment.

Watts’ talk will be based on his most recent book, “The People’s Tycoon: Henry Ford and the American Century,” published by Alfred A. Knopf. It has been favorably reviewed in venues such as the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, Dallas News, Newsday, Miami Herald, Cleveland Plain Dealer, London Financial Times, Kansas City Star, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Fortune, and the Christian Science Monitor. The book also was chosen as a featured selection of the History Book Club for October. A book signing will follow the lecture.

Author of several well-received books in American history, Watts has most recently focused on biographies of figures who have helped shape modern American culture in diverse ways. His last book was a biography of Walt Disney, and he is currently at work on a life of Hugh Hefner.

The Kohlenberg-Towne Lecture series was inaugurated in honor of Gilbert Kohlenberg and Ruth Towne in 1988, upon the occasion of their retirement from the history faculty.  Although both of them are now deceased, their memory lives on in these lectures by prominent visiting scholars.

The lecture is intended for a broad audience and is open to the public. For more information, contact Sally West, associate professor of history, at 785.7641.
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