Download The Left Behind: Decline and Rage in Rural America Audiobook

The Left Behind: Decline and Rage in Rural America Audiobook, by Robert Wuthnow Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Robert Wuthnow Narrator: Grover Gardner Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2018 ISBN: 9781982523572
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How a fraying social fabric is fueling the outrage of rural Americans

What is fueling rural America’s outrage toward the federal government? Why did rural Americans vote overwhelmingly for Donald Trump? And, beyond economic and demographic decline, is there a more nuanced explanation for the growing rural-urban divide? Drawing on more than a decade of research and hundreds of interviews, Robert Wuthnow brings us into America’s small towns, farms, and rural communities to paint a rich portrait of the moral order—the interactions, loyalties, obligations, and identities―underpinning this critical segment of the nation. Wuthnow demonstrates that to truly understand rural Americans’ anger, their culture must be explored more fully.

We hear from farmers who want government out of their business, factory workers who believe in working hard to support their families, town managers who find the federal government unresponsive to their communities’ needs, and clergy who say the moral climate is being undermined. Wuthnow argues that rural America’s fury stems less from specific economic concerns than from the perception that Washington is distant from and yet threatening to the social fabric of small towns. Rural dwellers are especially troubled by Washington’s seeming lack of empathy for such small-town norms as personal responsibility, frugality, cooperation, and common sense. Wuthnow also shows that while these communities may not be as discriminatory as critics claim, racism and misogyny remain embedded in rural patterns of life.

Moving beyond simplistic depictions of the residents of America’s heartland, The Left Behind offers a clearer picture of how this important population will influence the nation’s political future.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A superb, authoritative sociology book.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Wuthnow cogently confronts the question: Why are so many of the people living in small-town America filled with rage? Instead of condemning, he listens.”

    Nancy Isenberg, author of White Trash

  • “Learned, engrossing, and timely.”

    Ira Katznelson, author of Fear Itself

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About the Author

Robert Wuthnow is the Gerhard R. Andlinger ’52 Professor of Social Sciences at Princeton University. His many books include American Misfits and the Making of Middle-Class Respectability, Small-Town America, and Remaking the Heartland (all Princeton).

About the Narrator

Grover Gardner (a.k.a. Tom Parker) is an award-winning narrator with over a thousand titles to his credit. Named one of the “Best Voices of the Century” and a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine, he has won three prestigious Audie Awards, was chosen Narrator of the Year for 2005 by Publishers Weekly, and has earned more than thirty Earphones Awards.