Read it; prepare to be a part of the discussion


At least 17 people in the Sauk Valley are interested in learning more about what globalism has done to the Midwest’s economy and way of life.

How do we know that?

Because 17 people came to our offices last week to check out copies of “Caught in the Middle: America’s Heartland in the Age of Globalism,” Richard Longworth’s excellent book that describes troubling changes in the Midwest.

The book also offers ideas for how Midwesterners, working together, can stem the tide and create a new economy and a better future.

We ran out of books, so we acquired more and have new copies available at the front counters at Sauk Valley Media, 3200 E. Lincolnway, Sterling, and the Telegraph, 113 S. Peoria Ave., Dixon.

If we’ve run out by the time you drop by, you can put your name on a waiting list at the office. As the books are checked back in, we’ll contact you.

Or, you can seek out the book at local libraries in Sterling, Rock Falls and Dixon.

Or, you can visit your favorite local book store and buy or order a copy of your own.

What do people think of the book?

Initial reactions vary.

We heard that one local reader thought the book was funny.

Another person was said to be not that enthusiastic about it.

As Fred Turk, the leader of the Open Forum, came in to check out a copy, he invited a representative from SVM to speak to his group about the book.

“Caught in the Middle” isn’t a feel-good book. It is a critical, thoughtful look at the Midwest – at what was, is, and could be.

We think of it as the author holding up a mirror to residents of the Midwest. It’s not Longworth’s fault if people don’t like what they see.

And there’s a lot not to like: closed factories, closed businesses, small towns that may not survive, struggling schools, dysfunctional governments.

The key issue is this: Having been shown what we look like in the mirror, what are we going to do about it?

Sauk Valley Media hopes to organize a community discussion about the concepts covered in “Caught in the Middle.”

And we continue to encourage people to seek out a copy, read it, discuss it, share your views with us, and prepare to be part of that discussion.