Review | The View From Flyover Country: Dispatches from the Forgotten America by Sarah Kendzior

The View from Flyover Country: Dispatches from the Forgotten AmericaThe View from Flyover Country: Dispatches from the Forgotten America by Sarah Kendzior

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“…and in the eyes of the people there is the failure; and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath. In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.”
― John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

This book is a collection of essays written between 2012 and 2014 covering subjects including the collapse of the US economy, the loss of opportunities, the shrinking middle class, and the transformation of higher education into a debt trap by the super rich. While the book is focused mainly on ‘flyover country’ also called the mid-west or the ‘rust belt’ it will also ring true with those in such places as Williamsburg and Greenpoint Brooklyn, where gentrification has pushed out middle class families some of which had lived there for generations. The author successfully predicted the election of Donald Trump and each essay describes the angst that motivated disillusioned voters to cast their vote for him. To be sure, his populist rhetoric set fire to the simmering anger you could easily see at his rallies but populism is a plant that can only grow in a specific type of soil. These essays describe the soil in which his message took hold.

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One thought on “Review | The View From Flyover Country: Dispatches from the Forgotten America by Sarah Kendzior

  1. I think this book would make me too mad. People in Denver whose families have lived in their neighborhoods for generations are getting pushed out by gentrification. San Francisco was already being gentrified by the early 1980s and we see how well that turned out. The college ads put out by barely accredited schools all over public media disgust me. They brainwash kids into believing that they will get nowhere without a college degree. There is already a huge deficit of employees in the trades and barely anyone is training in them any more. The German system of putting kids into paid apprenticeships straight out of high school, with companies that guarantee them jobs and opportunities to advance if they complete them successfully, has worked for decades. The U.S. just seems hell bent on reinventing the wheel. Mark my words, “corporate citizens” will soon have the vote. This handbasket isn’t changing course any time soon.

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