This summer’s Authors & Artists Among Us series will conclude Wednesday, Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. with a presentation by Patrick Nolan Guyer on “The Measure of America 2010-2011: Mapping Risks and Resilience” report published last year by New York University Press.

The Friends of the Library event will take place in the gym of the Thomaston Academy building, 60 Main St./Route 1. Admission is free, and there will be a reception after the presentation.

“Measure of America,” with a foreword by economist Jeffrey Sachs, is the latest update to the pioneering American Human Development Index first introduced in “The Measure of America 2008-2009.” The American HD Index is an alternative measure of well-being and opportunity, calculated from official government data. It measures the three basic building blocks of a good life — health, education and income. Index scores enable a ranking of the 50 U.S. states; 435 congressional districts; major racial and ethnic groups; and men and women and allow for the tracking of progress over time.

The American HD Index answers the question, how are ordinary Americans doing? The American Human Development Project calculates life expectancy by state and for the five major racial and ethnic groups in each state — the only life expectancy calculations at this level available today. The report presents strong evidence that the capabilities a person has going into a crisis — ranging from a financial downturn to a man-made or natural disaster — strongly determine how fast he or she can bounce back. It concludes with a set of recommendations to boost the American HD Index scores of all Americans and to enable those left behind to realize their full potential.

Guyer, Chief Statistician with the American Human Development Project, has been with the Project since 2009 and has also worked as a consultant to UNICEF. This is his first major publication with the Project. He is a graduate of Georges Valley High School who went on to earn a BA in Political Science from McGill University in Montréal and an MA in International Affairs from the New School University in New York.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email to