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    Tuesday, November 28, 2023

    The scholar and the billionaires

    Jonathan Taplin (courtesy jontaplin.com)

    I have been called many things in a long life and, regrettably, “scholar” isn’t one of them. In fact, I’m not entirely sure what a “scholar” is or does. Is a “scholar” just a grown-up “pupil” who keeps pupil-ing?

    I DO know this: Jonathan Taplin must be a genuine scholar. His multifaceted resume incorporates job titles that have included investment advisor for Bass Brothers, VP for mergers & acquisitions at Merrill Lynch, film producer (“Mean Streets,” “Under Fire,” “The Last Waltz” and many more), USC professor (in digital media entertainment and international communication management writer), video-on-demand pioneer, one-time tour manager for Bob Dylan and the Band, and an author.

    In that last capacity, Taplin appears at the La Grua Center Saturday for the latest of their “On Our Minds” talks. He’ll be discussing his new book, “The End of Reality,” which focuses on four billionaires — Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and Marc Andreessen — and how their manipulative tech monopolies have had effects on the American middle-class.

    Oh, and having interviewed Taplin in the past, I can guarantee that he’s witty, kind and fascinating. Randy Bean moderates the conversation, and books will be available for signing and purchase.

    Jonathan Taplin, 5 p.m. Saturday, La Grua Center, 32 Water St., Stonington; in conversation with Randy Bean, “On Our Minds”; free, $5 donation suggested; lagruacenter.org, (860) 535-2300.

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