Brunswick-Bowdoin Community Read

To Members of the Bowdoin Community,

A Dialogue on Class and Economic Differences
Click here for more information about the Community Read, event updates, and where to obtain a copy of Nickel and Dimed.

We have an opportunity over the upcoming break to strengthen the ties and improve the dialogue between the College and our friends and neighbors in the Brunswick community—just by reading a book.

Bowdoin is a historic college located in town with an even longer history. Our campus is a diverse community in the broadest sense, and in some ways Bowdoin is more diverse today than Brunswick. The College enjoys a great relationship with the Town and its residents, and it is a relationship we must constantly nurture and seek to improve.

As part of these efforts, I have joined Brunswick Town Manager Gary Brown and Curtis Memorial Library Director Elisabeth Doucett in supporting a “Brunswick-Bowdoin Community Read” on the subject of class and economic differences. A planning committee with representatives from the College and the Brunswick community has selected Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, by Barbara Ehrenreich, for this project. I wholeheartedly support this effort and I urge you to participate.

For now, the task is to acquire a copy of the book—either in print or in electronic form—and to read it over the next seven weeks. Beginning this Friday, December 9, copies of Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America will be available for member borrowing at the Curtis Memorial and Bowdoin College libraries. Paperback copies of the book may be purchased at the College Store at Brunswick Station, the Bowdoin Bookstore in Smith Union, through The Bowdoin Store website, and at Gulf of Maine Books on Maine Street. New and used print editions—as well as the Kindle edition—are available through Electronic versions are also available through iTunes.

When we reconvene in January, discussion groups will be organized bringing together readers from our larger community to discuss the issues raised in Ehrenreich’s book, and to encourage continued dialog on class and economic differences. The initial discussion group will be part of a week-long series of campus events titled “Beyond the Bowdoin Hello,” details of which will be circulated in the weeks ahead.

One of Bowdoin’s greatest strengths is the solid and enduring relationship we have with our friends and neighbors in Brunswick. As we approach the holidays and a New Year, I hope you will take part in this latest effort to reinforce this bond.


Barry Mills