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What's the Matter with Kansas (and Middle America) ?
Thomas Frank's book discusses why the middle and working classes vote against their own interests.
Thomas Frank has written a book called What's the Matter with Kansas - How Conservatives Won the Heart of America. Below are comments made about the book at Amazon:
About the Author: Founding editor of The Baffler, Thomas Frank is the author of One Market Under God and The Conquest of Cool. A contributor to Harper’s, The Nation, and The New York Times op-ed page, he lives in Chicago.
Excerpted from What's the Matter With Kansas: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America by Thomas Frank. Copyright © 2004. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
From What’s the Matter with Kansas?: Hard times, instead of snapping people back to reality, only seem to stoke the fires of the conservative backlash. Indeed, those segments of the working class that have been hardest hit by the big economic changes of recent years are the very ones that vote Republican in the greatest numbers. We seem to have but one way to express our anger, and that’s by raging along with Rush—against liberal bias in academia, liberal softness on terrorism,... read more
One of “our most insightful social observers”* cracks the great political mystery of our time: how conservatism, once a marker of class privilege, became the creed of millions of ordinary Americans
With his acclaimed wit and acuity, Thomas Frank turns his eye on what he calls the “thirty-year backlash”—the populist revolt against a supposedly liberal establishment. The high point of that backlash is the Republican Party’s success in building the most unnatural of alliances: between blue-collar Midwesterners and Wall Street business interests, workers and bosses, populists and right-wingers.
In asking “what ’s the matter with Kansas?”—how a place famous for its radicalism became one of the most conservative states in the union—Frank, a native Kansan and onetime Republican, seeks to answer some broader American riddles: Why do so many of us vote against our economic interests? Where’s the outrage at corporate manipulators? And whatever happened to middle-American progressivism? The questions are urgent as well as provocative. Frank answers them by examining pop conservatism—the bestsellers, the radio talk shows, the vicious political combat—and showing how our long culture wars have left us with an electorate far more concerned with their leaders’ “values” and down-home qualities than with their stands on hard questions of policy.
A brilliant analysis—and funny to boot—What’s the Matter with Kansas? presents a critical assessment of who we are, while telling a remarkable story of how a group of frat boys, lawyers, and CEOs came to convince a nation that they spoke on behalf of the People."
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