Five hundred feet underground, Jeanne Marie Laskas asked a coal miner
named Smitty, “Do you think it’s weird that people know so little about you?”
He replied, “I don’t think people know too much about the way the whole damn
Hidden America intends to fix
that. Like John McPhee and Susan Orlean, Laskas dives deep into her subjects
and emerges with character-driven narratives that are gripping, funny, and
revelatory. In Hidden America, the stories are about the people who make
our lives run every day—and yet we barely think of them.
Laskas spent weeks
in an Ohio coal mine and on an Alaskan oil rig; in a Maine migrant labor camp,
a Texas beef ranch, the air traffic control tower at New York’s LaGuardia
a California landfill, an Arizona gun shop, the cab of a long-haul truck in
Iowa, and the stadium of the Cincinnati Ben-Gals cheerleaders. Cheerleaders?
Yes. They, too, are hidden America, and you will be amazed by what Laskas tells
you about them: hidden no longer.
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