The View from Flyover Country: Dispatches from the Forgotten America by Sarah Kendzior
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Originally published in 2015 and republished in 2018 with a new forward and an epilogye by the author, this collection of essays focuses on topics faced by the majority of Americans in the early 2010s - poverty and economic disparity, the rising cost of education, the diminishing value of that education, racism, who decides whose humanity matters, and more. I found them a bit repetitive because they were almost all essays that had been previously published in different places, so the author was following similar themes in multiple settings.
She lives in St. Louis and speaks to the topics from a personal place too, not just a journalist, but someone whose children attend school here, who experiences the same kind of legislation, etc. That added a layer that made the essays much more real.
A lot of attention has been given to Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis to "understand Trump voters." I think this book is more steeped in facts and numbers, doesn't stereotype all Trump voters or everyone in flyover country to the most extreme racist white guys who lost their manufacturing jobs (Kendzior exhibits far more nuance than that), and is probably a better picture of what has been going on for normal people trying to make it in America, and overall really not making it.
Thanks to the publisher for providing access to this title. It came out in updated form on April 17, 2018.
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