BL Spotlight

Pulitzer Prize Winner, Class of ’83 Alum Visits Boys’ Latin

“Rick Wartzman is the executive director of the Drucker Institute, a social enterprise at Claremont Graduate University, whose mission is strengthening organizations to strengthen society. He is the author or editor of five books and for 20 years was a reporter, editor and columnist at The Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times,” according to time.com. And according to Drucker.Institute, Wartzman won a Pulitzer Prize for his contributions to “The Wal-Mart Effect.”

Wartzman, Boys’ Latin Class of 1983, is a very intelligent person. When he spoke, he meticulously chose his words to convey his point as clear as possible. It was not necessary to ask for clarification once during the time spent with him because he always spoke with such clarity.

It was obvious through conversation that Wartzman had a stunning memory demonstrated by how well he was reminiscing about his time here at BL with Mr. Gugerty. He discussed his old basketball team and how the program was not as good as it is today, and he recalled his time as the editor of the Inkwell. He also talked about publishing the Inkwell in a glass case accessible to everyone right inside the front door with everyone gathering around to read the articles.

One of the most striking pieces of information that he mentioned was what inspired him to write. He talked about his old English teacher Mr. Landry and mentioned that he got so immersed into stories in class which inspired him to gain a great interest in writing.

Wartzman spent a good chunk of time talking about his book coming in May of 2017 titled “The End of Loyalty: The Rise and Fall of Good Jobs in America”. He said that it is about the ups and downs of jobs in America post-WWII through the eyes of four business giants in America at the time: General Motors, General Electric, Kodak, and Coca-Cola.

Before Mr. Wartzman had to head out, he had the chance to meet with a 10th grade English class who were in the middle of a research project. The 10th graders explained their project to Wartzman. One particularly useful statement Wartzman shared with the class was “People tend to write before they actually know what they want to say.”

He also talked about how when writing, a writer must know 150% of the information on the topic before even beginning to write. By talking about this, he emphasized how important research is for writing.

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