Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $4.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
What's the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America Hardcover – June 1, 2004
|New from||Used from|
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
The largely blue collar citizens of Kansas can be counted upon to be a "red" state in any election, voting solidly Republican and possessing a deep animosity toward the left. This, according to author Thomas Frank, is a pretty self-defeating phenomenon, given that the policies of the Republican Party benefit the wealthy and powerful at the great expense of the average worker. According to Frank, the conservative establishment has tricked Kansans, playing up the emotional touchstones of conservatism and perpetuating a sense of a vast liberal empire out to crush traditional values while barely ever discussing the Republicans' actual economic policies and what they mean to the working class. Thus the pro-life Kansas factory worker who listens to Rush Limbaugh will repeatedly vote for the party that is less likely to protect his safety, less likely to protect his job, and less likely to benefit him economically. To much of America, Kansas is an abstract, "where Dorothy wants to return. Where Superman grew up." But Frank, a native Kansan, separates reality from myth in What's the Matter with Kansas and tells the state's socio-political history from its early days as a hotbed of leftist activism to a state so entrenched in conservatism that the only political division remaining is between the moderate and more-extreme right wings of the same party. Frank, the founding editor of The Baffler and a contributor to Harper's and The Nation, knows the state and its people. He even includes his own history as a young conservative idealist turned disenchanted college Republican, and his first-hand experience, combined with a sharp wit and thorough reasoning, makes his book more credible than the elites of either the left and right who claim to understand Kansas. --John Moe
From The New Yorker
Kansas, once home to farmers who marched against "money power," is now solidly Republican. In Frank's scathing and high-spirited polemic, this fact is not just "the mystery of Kansas" but "the mystery of America." Dismissing much of the received punditry about the red-blue divide, Frank argues that the problem is the "systematic erasure of the economic" from discussions of class and its replacement with a notion of "authenticity," whereby "there is no bad economic turn a conservative cannot do unto his buddy in the working class, as long as cultural solidarity has been cemented over a beer." The leaders of this backlash, by focussing on cultural issues in which victory is probably impossible (abortion, "filth" on TV), feed their base's sense of grievance, abetted, Frank believes, by a "criminally stupid" Democratic strategy of triangulation. Liberals do not need to know more about nascar; they need to talk more about money and class.
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
This book really answers those questions well. Furthermore, the writing style is fantastic. Every time one picks it up, it's nearly impossible to put down. I read the entire thing in just five days.
The quick answer here is that Democrats used to have the votes of the common man, and of blue-collar labor, because they concentrated on economic issues. Around 1990 the Democrats stopped talking about economic issues because they needed to RAISE MORE MONEY FROM BIG DONORS. They stopped talking about minimum wage issues and business practices that hurt small workers. Those small workers only gave small amounts of political contributions anyway; therefore no one was really interested in them as a constituency. As a result, the issues the Democrats are left talking about are things like legalizing gay marriage and keeping abortion legal.
According to this book, starting around 1990, the "new" Republican wing started talking about moral issues such as not dismembering babies, not teaching children about gay sex, in addition to capturing the whole part of the country which is "anti-intellectual" above all else. They captured the sentiment of "America has changed, and it's not the America I grew up with," angry white voters, who now define all problems in America as coming from "liberals who hate America and want to destroy it." Liberals are now defined as "educated 'experts' (scientists and professionals) who try to tell us what to think (on issues such as climate change and gay marriage), who drink wine, drive Volvos, and who are NOT LIKE US, THE COMMON PEOPLE." All these people who used to be the Democratic base are now voting Republican because the Democrats have forgotten them by taking economics out of what they talk about.
The book is a provocative and interesting excellent read.
Before his term ends, since the legislature is under his control, it will be more difficult to get rid of
those like him who will follow. I recommend that everyone who cares about the direction our republican form of government is headed read this book.
Most recent customer reviews
May be good for a casual book club. Like a compromise between reading a whole book and having nothing specific to talk about, this is somewhere in the...Read more
What remedies?Read more
It focuses a lot on the politics of Kansas, of course. I learned a lot about politics in that part of the USA.Read more