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.
Founding editor of The Baffler, Thomas Frank is the author of One Market Under God and The Conquest of Cool. A contributor to Harper's, The Nation, and The New York Times op-ed pages, he lives in Chicago.
"THOMAS FRANK, NOT MICHAEL MOORE, IS THE MOST INCISIVE WRITER ON CONTEMPORARY AMERICA His writing is so dazzling and witty and scornful it can stand comparison with the works of Twain or Mencken ... Frank is in a different league from Michael Moore. He is a smarter and better writer."
"'Eloquent and often funny'"
"'Important and fascinating...Frank [writes] vividly and with great insight'"
London Review of Books
"'Thomas Frank is the most witty, talented, humane and intelligent writer in America today. Ignoring this book is not an option'"