josh (joshc) wrote,


Salon's book reviews have been exceptionally good lately.1 This review/interview with Tom Franks, author of What's the Matter With Kansas? about how democrats lost the heartland is fascinating:
Nobody thinks it's strange that Nebraska and Nevada and Arizona and Montana vote for right-wing Republicans in election after election, consumed with tax-cutting fervor and a passion to shrink the government, even though it's the massive federal programs of the 20th century -- dams and aqueducts, agricultural subsidies, public lands thrown open to ranching and mining and lumbering -- that supports those states' economies to this day.

You take people who would be natural Democrats -- because they work in industry, they're blue-collar people -- and you suddenly remove the economic issues from the table. You say, well, the Democrats are the same as the Republicans on those issues now. And all that's left for them to consider are the cultural issues. [salon]

It provides interesting food for thought for democrats, and nicely eviscerates the false red state--blue state dichotomy that's gained such cultural currency through the tireless efforts of David Brooks.

The only problem with these long reviews is that after reading them, I feel no obligation to actually read the books.

(1) er. with the exception of today's about diet culture, which I hated too much to link.

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