Strangers in Their Own Land
Strangers in Their Own Land Anger and Mourning on the American Right By Hochschild, Arlie Russell Book - 2018

The 2016 election was the election that launched a thousand "what happened?" articles. We're just starting to get the deluge of post-election books. If you were Clinton supporter, you were endlessly chastised to get out of your bubble and your liberal preconceptions and understand the heartland Trump supporters. Oddly, I didn't hear much about rapid xenophobes and gun nuts being told to get out of their bubbles, which are apparently more authentic, however repulsive. "Strangers in Their Own Land" starts as a joke set-up: A Berkeley sociologist walks into a red state. . .Hochschild heads to Louisiana to try and understand the red state mindset in a state that, while heavily invested in and dependent on oil, was also the victim of one of the worst oil spills (the Deepwater Horizon) in history. Hochschild explores this paradox without going too deep, which is one of the book's flaws. She cites Thomas Frank's excellent "What's the Matter with Kansas?" as an inspiration, but she's not as caustic, incisive, and angry as he is. That't not to say it isn't an important book that sheds light on those that left coast elites too often dismiss, but I hardly think it will help bridge the considerable gap in our country.

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