Why “Citizen Reader?”

Joe Harrington photo doc smallWelcome to my website. Thank you for stopping by.

“By day,” so to speak, I’m a business writer specializing in property/casualty insurance coverage and operations. I have a deep appreciation for a business that allows us to acquire property and engage in commerce largely free from the fear of devastating loss. I also find insurance to be intellectually engaging, as it encompasses law, economics, technological change, and human behavior.

In a way, I find insurance to provide an almost “civic” dimension to economic life. It entails costs and hassles that many people would prefer to avoid, but fulfills  responsibilities we have to others for privileges we enjoy, like driving a car.

“By night,” I pursue my interest in civic life as an adult seminar leader at Chicago’s Newberry Library, the private research institution open to the general public. The term “citizen-reader” is how I characterize myself to my seminar participants. Together, we explore topics and texts to learn for ourselves and from each other how to think and act on matters of public concern.

I’ve had  success in my professional career, but “citizen” is my most cherished title. I hope to always be worthy of it.