The people of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania voted Democratic for decades, until Donald Trump flipped it in 2016. What happened?
Named one of the "juiciest political books to come in 2018" by Entertainment Weekly.
In The Forgotten, Ben Bradlee Jr. reports on how voters in Luzerne County, a pivotal county in a crucial swing state, came to feel like strangers in their own land - marginalized by flat or falling wages, rapid demographic change, and a liberal culture that mocks their faith and patriotism.
Fundamentally rural and struggling with changing demographics and limited opportunity, Luzerne County can be seen as a microcosm of the nation. In The Forgotten, Trump voters speak for themselves, explaining how they felt others were 'cutting in line' and that the federal government was taking too much money from the employed and giving it to the idle. The loss of breadwinner status, and more importantly, the loss of dignity, primed them for a candidate like Donald Trump.
The political facts of a divided America are stark, but the stories of the men, women and families in The Forgotten offer a kaleidoscopic and fascinating portrait of the complex on-the-ground political reality of America today.
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In the tradition of J. Anthony Lukas' Common Ground, or Samuel J. Freedman's The Inheritance, Bradlee immerses himself in the world of Luzerne's Trump supporters - an all-white yet still-diverse crew, including ex-Democrats, a white nationalist, and an evangelical husband and wife - and lets their voices take center stage. Bradlee admirably avoids the condescension that can sometimes emerge when coastal types set out to discover red-state 'Murica."'—Tom Deignan, National Catholic Reporter