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The View from Flyover Country: Dispatches…
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The View from Flyover Country: Dispatches from the Forgotten America (origineel 2018; editie 2018)

door Sarah Kendzior (Auteur)

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203598,441 (4.03)4
Offers a collection of essays on the state of America, including how labor exploitation, racism, gentrification, media bias, and other aspects of a post-employment economy have given rise to an autocrat leader.
Lid:tyelmene
Titel:The View from Flyover Country: Dispatches from the Forgotten America
Auteurs:Sarah Kendzior (Auteur)
Info:Flatiron Books (2018), 256 pages
Verzamelingen:Jouw bibliotheek
Waardering:*****
Trefwoorden:KINDLE. AUDIBLE, political

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The View from Flyover Country: Dispatches from the Forgotten America door Sarah Kendzior (2018)

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Toon 5 van 5
These essays are crushingly true, and even worse in context of the fact that things have only gotten worse since the election of 2016. Read it if you don't mind being depressed for a few days (or weeks, or months) after you finish. ( )
1 stem lemontwist | Jan 12, 2019 |
Been following the author for awhile on Twitter and was saddened to see how right she was about the 2016 election. Kendzior has written and reported on various topics such as Ferguson, the decay in Middle America, the problem in academia and journalism and more. You may recognize her or her name from her appearances in recent times talking about authoritarianism and the Trump era.

It is a collection of previously published essays on the above topics, so if you're already familiar with her work then there's nothing that's new here. Like others, a lot of the criticisms are on point: it's repetitive, sometimes the editing is iffy, the marketing doesn't match (I also thought it was going to be observations about "flyover country"), etc. That said, the title is correct: it's her viewpoint, in flyover country, of various topics and is perhaps a voice that isn't heard (ie from NY or DC).

Also understand that her thing isn't really to sugar-coat or give hope, which is also how she is on Twitter. She isn't one to promote registering to vote or where to protest, etc. but rather is an observer (and in fairness she has received threats for her previous work).

Appreciate her work but overall this wasn't really worth a buy for me since I already read some version of this on her Twitter and/or online. I had also initially made the purchase to support her but do occasionally find her unable to escape some of the criticisms she herself espouses and/or going out of her lane when say discussing legal proceedings.

Recommend the library but it's also reasonable in price (paperback or e-book) if you want to support her. ( )
  HoldMyBook | Dec 6, 2018 |
Let's get this out of the way first: yes, the title of this collection of essays is slightly misleading (comparatively few of the pieces actually focus on the Midwest, and most of those that do hone in on St Louis, the city in which author Sarah Kendzior lives). Yes, the essays themselves are really just a collection of short pieces and blog articles, written mostly for various online publications in the early 2010s and largely unrevised. Some of the pieces are repetitive, and some of them would have benefited from being expanded.

However, to dismiss The View from Flyover Country on the basis of those quibbles is to miss the forest for the trees. Kendzior is one of the most incisive writers on American culture and politics today, using her academic expertise (she holds a PhD in Anthropology, having researched the authoritarian regimes of Central Asia) to deliver a fairly damning indictment. This is not a feel-good book, especially when read in 2018 and seeing how many of Kendzior's predictions—dismissed, like Cassandra's prophecies—have come to pass.

I've noticed several reviewers on Goodreads critique Kendzior for not providing hope, for not providing a plan for Americans to get themselves out of the mess in which they currently find themselves. This, of course, is to miss some of the key points that Kendzior makes, over and over: that there are no single causes, and so there will be no single solutions. This is systemic. You've got to look outside of yourself, look around you, see who's struggling and who needs help and do the work. No one is going to come along and save you. Do the work. ( )
  siriaeve | Nov 19, 2018 |
I read this collection of essays over a period of several weeks, usually one article each morning with my wake-up cup of tea. This was partly because I don't like to read a whole series of essays by one person in a go; topics shift, the rhythm of short pieces is choppy, the pieces run together. Partly it was because each one gave me something to think about all day. And partly it was because reading essays written in 2012-14 and realizing that nothing was new or improved was deeply depressing.

Kendzior is a sharp reporter, and her academic expertise in authoritarianism and the social and cultural conditions that both create it and are created by it informs much of what she sees. She has the ability to point out that what we have been conditioned to accept as normal is anything but. She unsparingly destroys the American myth of the meritocracy, and shows how our system is set up to perpetuate a wealthy elite, while the rest of us fall further and further behind.

Infuriating, intense, inspiring. Recommended. ( )
1 stem teckelvik | Jun 20, 2018 |
Collection of Kendzior’s short pieces, often on poverty, the disappearance of jobs, and the associated disappearance of compassion in America, as the wealthy retreat so that they never have to encounter the poor, and everyone participates in a tournament for the few remaining high-paying jobs. Several pieces use unpaid internships to highlight these changes—since only wealthy people can afford them, she says, they recast privilege as perserverance, and send the message that work isn’t labor worth paying for but rather charity bestowed by the powerful. Quoting David Graeber, she suggests that one reason right-wing populists hate liberal elites is that the liberals “grabbed all the jobs where you get paid to do something that isn’t just for the money—the pursuit of art, or truth, or charity. All they can do if they want to do something bigger than themselves and still get paid is join the army.” She also writes about the indignities of would-be academics forced into permanent adjuncting, as best; it’s a kind of cult, where if you work outside of academia even to keep body and soul together you’re considered not serious enough. She also writes about the value of open access to scholarship—her own work on authoritarian regimes, because it was publicly available, helped people avoid deportation to a country where they’d have been jailed or killed.

She has some very nice turns of phrase. “It could always be worse, they say. They don’t like to say that it could always be better, because that would require redress.” “The social contract does not apply to contract workers ….” “For the average married mother of small children, it is often cheaper to stay home—even if she would prefer to be in the workforce. It is hard to ‘lean in’ when you are priced out.” On high college costs: “College is a purchased loyalty oath to an imagined employer. College shows you are serious enough about your life to risk ruining it early on. College is a promise the economy does not keep.” “The worst thing about the Iraq war was not that people got away with lying. It was that they did not—and it did not matter.” “If you are being ‘humanized,’ you are already losing. To be ‘humanized’ implies that your humanity is never assumed, but something you have to prove.” ( )
4 stem rivkat | Apr 10, 2017 |
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This is a collection of essays I wrote between 2012 and 2014.  (Introduction The Audacity of Despair, 2017)
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In 2006, the Reverand Will Bowen launched a movement called A Complaint Free World.  The goal of the movement was to get people to stop expressing "pain, grief, or discontent."

The best way to stop expressing pain, grief, or discontent was to buy Bowen's book and purple  bracelets from his website. [...]

In an America built on the reinvention of reality, critical words make people uneasy -- and so do those who speak them.  In 1996, Alan Greenspan famously chided the financial communiity for "irrational exuberance."  They ignored him, and America became a bubble economy [...]

When the bubbles popped, and the jobs disappeared, and the debt soared, and the desperation hit, Americans were told to stay positive. [...] Complainers suffer the cruel imperatives of optimism: lighten up, suck it up, chin up, buck up.   In other words: shut up.

The surest way to keep a problem from being solved is to deny that the problem exists.[...]

All social movements are dismissed at some point as complaining.  Over time, they are recognized as speaking truth to power.  [...]

Complaint is often perceived as an alternative to alternative to action.  Those who complain are criticized as "just complaining," instead of "actually doing something."  But for marginalized and stigmatized groups -- racial and religious minorities, women, the poor, people who lack civil rights -- complaining is the first step in removing the shame for a lifetime of being told one's problems are unimportant, nonexistent, or even a cause for gratitutde.  Complaining alerts the world that the problem is a problem. [...]

People hate complaining because the do not like to listen.  When you listen to someone complaining, you are forced to acknowledge them as a human being instead of a category.  You are forced to witness how social systems are borne out in personal experience, to recognize that hardship hurts, that solutions are not as simple as they seem.

You are forced to trust, and you are forced to care.  In complaint lies a path to compassion.   (Coda: "In Defense of Complaining")
On January 18, 2017, two days before leaving the White House, Barack Obama addressed America as its president for the last time: "We're going to be okay," he promised citizens anxious not only about Trump's unexpected win, but about the autocratic policies he promised to pass and the extremist cabinet he had assembled.

As you know by now, America is not okay. [...]

"Who could have predicted a Trump win?" pundits pondered, and the answer was often blacks, Latinos, Muslims, and residents of the ignored heartland regions where he gained popularity -- the people whom Trump treated as target practice, and people in regions he targeted for votes.  These folks are the "no one" in the oft-said and inaccurate phrase of "no one saw it coming," a phrase that indicts the fool who utters it.   Many Americans saw it coming, but their warning were often dismissed as implausible or, worse, hysterical, when they were simply logical predictions based on lived experience.  The people pushed to the margins knew it would not be okay, because it had never been okay.  For many, the hypotheticals had already happened.  (Epilogue, September 2017)
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Offers a collection of essays on the state of America, including how labor exploitation, racism, gentrification, media bias, and other aspects of a post-employment economy have given rise to an autocrat leader.

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