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What's the Matter with Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America (2004)

by Thomas Frank

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,581404,704 (3.69)68
With his acclaimed wit and acuity, Thomas Frank turns his eye on the 'thirty-year backlash' - the common man's revolt against a supposedly liberal establishment. He charts the Republican Party's success in building the most unnatural of alliances: between blue-collar Midwesterners and Wall Street business interests; between workers and bosses; between populists and right-wingers. Taking the state of Kansas as a paradigm, Frank describes how a place famous for its radicalism became one of the most conservative states in the union. He also seeks to answer some broader riddles: why do so many Americans vote against their economic and social interests? And whatever happened to middle-American progressivism? Frank reveals the true story, showing how voters have been persuaded to elevate 'values' and down-home qualities above hard questions of policy. A brilliant analysis, and funny to boot, What's the Matter with America? presents a critical assessment of the state of America today.… (more)
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» See also 68 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
Spot on. For those who keep coming up scratching their heads at the things people on the Right do. ( )
  btbell_lt | Aug 1, 2022 |
No particularly original or stunning insights to offer on the paradox of the right-wing backlash. Most of the book was simply prologue to the last chapter, which in my opinion contained the meat of the book and could have stood alone as an article. Nevertheless, I'm glad someone wrote this book. ( )
  Charon07 | Jul 16, 2021 |
He's a really entertaining and smart writer. ( )
  vive_livre | Oct 18, 2020 |
That explains a lot, and absolutely nothing all at the same time. Right-wing arguments do not make sense to me -- morals are one thing, complete detrimental ignorance is another (of course, that comment is coming from a Liberal Elitist). ( )
  Christina_E_Mitchell | Sep 9, 2017 |
A great book to read during the US election season ( )
  M_Clark | Apr 26, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
Frank's book is remarkable as an anthropological artifact. Although not terribly successful at explaining the cultural divide, it manages to exemplify it perfectly in its condescension toward people who don't vote as Frank thinks they should.
added by mikeg2 | editNew York Times, Josh Chafetz (Jun 13, 2004)
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Thomas Frankprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cotton, FrédéricTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Oh, Kansas fools! Poor Kansas Fools!
The banker makes of you a tool.
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The poorest county in America isn't in Appalachia or the Deep South.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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With his acclaimed wit and acuity, Thomas Frank turns his eye on the 'thirty-year backlash' - the common man's revolt against a supposedly liberal establishment. He charts the Republican Party's success in building the most unnatural of alliances: between blue-collar Midwesterners and Wall Street business interests; between workers and bosses; between populists and right-wingers. Taking the state of Kansas as a paradigm, Frank describes how a place famous for its radicalism became one of the most conservative states in the union. He also seeks to answer some broader riddles: why do so many Americans vote against their economic and social interests? And whatever happened to middle-American progressivism? Frank reveals the true story, showing how voters have been persuaded to elevate 'values' and down-home qualities above hard questions of policy. A brilliant analysis, and funny to boot, What's the Matter with America? presents a critical assessment of the state of America today.

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