Cheap Motels and a Hot Plate:A Conversation and Book Signing with Mike Yates

Cheap Motels and a Hot Plate
A Conversation and Book Signing with Mike Yates
Author of "Why Unions Matter"
At the Pump House
Sunday August, 12, 2007
1:30 pm

In Michael Yates' book we get the invisible made visible: the stark 
and powerful truth of the haves and have-nots. Cheap Motels and a Hot 
Plate is what we are all about." -Studs Terkel

Yates' travelogue/critique ranges from the political economy of 
California's agricultural valleys, where migrant workers pick our 
food, to an account of the job market in Portland. This is a great 
book-a road story for radicals. It makes you itch to hit the 
road."-David Bacon, photographer and author of Communities Without 

"Here's the travel book the chamber of commerce doesn't want you to 
have. It shows you the way to places of great beauty, but it also 
invites you into the parts of real America that other books 
avoid-gated communities in small towns, homeless kids in our cites, 
poor people of color toiling at arduous and poorly-paid labor, 
burgeoning economic inequality, and environmental destruction in our 
national parks. Read this book. It might change the way you see our 
country the next time you travel."-Jim Hightower, national radio 
commentator and author of Thieves In High Places

The road trip is a staple of modern American literature. But nowhere 
in American literature, until now, has an economist hit the road, 
observing and interpreting the extraordinary range and spectacle of 
U.S. life, bringing out its conflicts and contradictions with humor 
and insight.
Disillusioned with academic life after thirty-two years teaching 
economics, Michael Yates took early retirement in 2001, with a pension 
account that had doubled during the frenzy of the late 1990s. 
He and his wife Karen have traveled around the country since then, 
often spending months at a time on the road. Michael and Karen spent 
the summer of 2001 in Yellowstone National Park, where Michael worked 
as a hotel front-desk clerk. They moved to Manhattan for a year, where 
he worked for Monthly Review. From there they went to Portland, 
Oregon, to explore the Pacific Northwest. After five months of travel 
in Summer and Fall 2004, they settled in Miami Beach. Ahead of the 
2005 hurricane season, they went back on the road, settling this time 
in Colorado.
Cheap Motels and a Hot Plate is both an account of their adventures 
and a penetrating examination of work and inequality, race and class, 
alienation and environmental degradation in the small towns and big 
cities of the contemporary United States.

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