Rice U. event to highlight new book about political life in ‘all-American town’

Rice University
Office of Public Affairs / News & Media Relations


David Ruth

Amy McCaig

Rice U. event to highlight new book about political life in ‘all-American town’

HOUSTON – (March 30, 2018) – A new book from Rice University’s Bill Fulton, director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research, offers an account of what life is really like for a local elected official. The Kinder Institute will host a launch for the book, “Talk City: A Chronicle of Political Life in an All-American Town,” April 3 at 7 p.m. as part of its “Urban Reads” series.

Bill Fulton book artworkThe event will feature a conversation between Fulton and the Houston Chronicle’s Lisa Gray and will take place at Rice’s BioScience Research Collaborative. To register, visit https://bit.ly/2ucQaDb.

What:             “Urban Reads” series event: “Talk City: A Chronicle of Political Life in an All-American Town.”

When:            7 p.m. April 3.

Where:           Rice’s BioScience Research Collaborative, 6500 Main St.

The book is a collection of blog posts authored by Fulton during his time as a local elected official in Ventura, Calif. Fulton served as a city councilman from 2003 to 2009 and mayor from 2009 to 2011. The blog on which the book is based was created by Fulton in late 2006, not long before he announced his re-election campaign for the Ventura City Council. The posts chronicle his life representing what he described as a “typical American city.”

“Most people thought [the blog] was just a campaign stunt, but in fact I had a different idea in mind,” Fulton said. “I wanted to make sure my constituents understood the reasoning behind my votes, and the time and space to do that explaining simply weren’t available during the high-profile, high-pressure Monday night council meetings.”

The blog’s focus shifted over time and covered issues ranging from his style in managing city council meetings to dealing with issues related to the Great Recession. The entries range from short posts to well-developed essays. Fulton said the blog accurately conveys what life was like in the trenches as an elected official in a typical local government.

More information about the book is available at http://solimarbooks.com. A Rice News article about the book is available online at https://bit.ly/2IeXoZw.

Media interested in attending the event or interviewing Fulton may contact Amy McCaig, senior media relations specialist at Rice, at 713-348-6777 or amym@rice.edu.

For a map of Rice University’s campus, go to http://www.rice.edu/maps/maps.html.


This news release can be found online at http://news.rice.edu.

Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.

Related materials:

Bill Fulton bio: https://kinder.rice.edu/people/william-fulton

Kinder Institute website: https://kinder.rice.edu/

Photo link: https://bit.ly/2pQta7C

Photo credit: Rice University/Jeff Fitlow/Solimar Books

Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,970 undergraduates and 2,934 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for quality of life and for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for happiest students by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/RiceUniversityoverview.

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About Amy McCaig

Amy is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.