For me this was a life-changing book. For the first time I understand that the different cultures in the United States are not just different because of food, clothes, music, etc. but that a culture will shape the way a person understands her place in society, what she feels she can expect from society, how empowered she feels to influence society. In particular, why people who desperately need federal regulation of pollution oppose any role for the federal government.
A powerful influence on what the culture will become has to do with the economic situation of the community. The implicit understanding that one is always financially vulnerable (and therefore vulnerable in innumerable ways) informs the entire culture.
The reader may see global influences at work such as out-sourcing and automation but the working people of Louisiana cannot wait for solutions that may take decades. They focus on
more concrete issues, such as affirmative action, which the appendixes to the book show are an inaccurate understanding of the problem.
We are not all alike. Our different cultures have make us very different from each other.