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Download What's the Matter with Kansas? A Lecture Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Whats the Matter with Kansas? A Lecture Audiobook, by Thomas Frank
3.91 out of 53.91 out of 53.91 out of 53.91 out of 53.91 out of 5 3.91 (34 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Thomas Frank Narrator: Thomas Frank Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2004 ISBN:
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In this lecture, Thomas Frank distills the central argument from his New York Times best seller, What's the Matter With Kansas?, which unravels the great political mystery of our day: why do so many Americans vote against their economic and social interests? In this special recorded lecture, Thomas Frank answers the riddle by examining his home state, Kansas, a place once famous for its radicalism that now ranks among the nation's most eager audiences for a backlash that he calls a derangement, the popular revolt against a supposedly liberal establishment.

In his concise, reasoned approach, Frank charts how the great backlash mobilizes votes with explosive social issues, marshalling cultural anger to achieve economic ends. As a result, conservatism, once a marker of class privilege and now the creed of millions of ordinary Americans, has become a working class movement that has done incalculable harm to the middle class. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tim Domagalski | 2/18/2014

    " a good book that should fill you with information, a chuckle or two and perhaps a deep sense of outrage at how America lost its mind "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christina Mitchell | 2/11/2014

    " That explains a lot, and absolutely nothing all at the same time. Right-wing arguments do not make sense to me -- morals are one thing, complete detrimental ignorance is another (of course, that comment is coming from a Liberal Elitist). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kian | 2/2/2014

    " Excellent and engaging history of the political changes in Kansas. Good insight as to why the middle of America is the way it is. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrew Hecht | 1/27/2014

    " Thomas Frank sets out to discover the roots of the conundrum of Kansas where voters consistently elect politicians who vote against the economic interests on their constituents and through a serious of anecdotes, interviews and observations lays out the problem with our politics in country. In a two party system where the two parties have leave economic issues out of the equation, all that's left to fight over is the culture war: abortion, evolution, obscenity in the media, prayer in school, posting of the ten commandments. As the Democratic party under the DLC has moved further the right to court socially liberal upwardly mobile inhabitants of "Cupcake Land", the workers and unionists who were traditionally the core of the party's base have been left behind. On the the other side, the bible-thumpers find solace in the Republican party that pays lip service to their cultural demands, but never acts on them. What the do act on is a set of policies, deregulation, lower taxation, privatization and reduced social services that enriches the already rich, and economically punishes the people who put them in office. It's pretty startling. Frank wrote this book back in 2004 at the height of Conservative power. Republicans held the White House and both chambers of Congress. If the election on Tuesday goes as the polls predicts, the pendulum will have completely swung around in four years with Democrats in control all executive and legislative branches. Oddly enough, one of the major catalysts will be the economic crises currently facing the country. Whether the Democrats can do anything about it once in power remains to be seen. Anyone concerned with the direction of American politics and wanting to understand the roots of our movement to a more conservative country would be well advised to check this one out. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nate | 1/24/2014

    " A little dry at times, but mostly hilarious with tidbits of edible political satire. The author grew up in what he now derides as an unfounded place, at least in relation to the ideology. The Cons and the Mods have a heck of a time one-upping each other and it's fun to watch it all played out from a distance. See our elementary phrases and sticking to one point helped shape a movement that swept the country so to speak. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julianne Dunn | 1/19/2014

    " It was a good read especially as I am from the area he focuses on. However, since it is several years old, it is almost irrelevant. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aashish | 1/16/2014

    " Does a good job explaining why republicans control the bible belt ...i found it a little slow at times... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gabrielle | 1/15/2014

    " Passionate and compelling for sure, but I feel that the tone, especially toward the end, is sometimes snide enough to obscure some of Frank's research (which is exhaustive) and arguments. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margali | 11/29/2013

    " Interesting, but also scary and depressing, especially when he talks about the anti-intellectualism at the heart of much of the current conservative movement. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deirdre | 11/27/2013

    " This book IS interesting. It is a bit strong and a bit self righteous but Thomas Frank has some good points. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Victor | 11/24/2013

    " If Joe Sixpack thinks the Republican elites give two shits about him, he should read this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 J B | 11/12/2013

    " It is weird to me how the composition and platforms of political parties change over the years. A frightening thing that the author points out is how some parties are perceived as helping the independent business owner when they are instead passing laws that hurt them. Creepy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andy Norris | 9/22/2013

    " Good book about a horrible phenomena. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephanie | 8/15/2013

    " A little dated when read in 2013 but in many ways still relevant. A classic political text. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amanda Finger | 5/22/2013

    " Great political history of my home state. :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donya | 5/9/2013

    " It's a great story, but he doesn't know the half of it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Iris | 11/15/2012

    " This book is a good read for those who are interested in political history and how time can change the pollitical landscape of a state. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melanie | 9/2/2012

    " Excellent analysis of what's wrong with this country! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lauren | 3/27/2012

    " Clear, interesting look on the evolution of the right, and hown the mid-west was transformed. Surprisingly easy to read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 B.lyon | 2/21/2012

    " I think this book might have been wrong - I trust the American people again (for now!!) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jill | 12/21/2011

    " Somewhat dated, but still really enjoyed his analysis. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan Shea | 12/11/2011

    " Makes some good points, but makes them over and over again. Moral of the story: everything is the hippies fault. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 William | 5/9/2011

    " Great book ... insightful, historically informed and thought provoking. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 R_vance_b | 4/18/2011

    " a little repetitive, but informative and engaging. clearly this is lefty propaganda, but that's what i wanted to read when i picked it up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara | 4/4/2011

    " A book that answers the question of how the Republican party gets low- and middle-class Americans to vote against their own best interests. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeff | 4/4/2011

    " Great analysis of socially conservative democrats who left the Democratic Party when their interests were abandoned by Democrats supporting "free trade" policies, like President Clinton. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heidi | 4/2/2011

    " This book will drive republicans crazy, but it's interesting "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Blair | 2/18/2011

    " A good look at the epically fucked up heartland of America... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rob | 2/10/2011

    " This book does not give me hope for the future of civilization. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aashish | 1/14/2011

    " Does a good job explaining why republicans control the bible belt ...i found it a little slow at times... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jason | 1/12/2011

    " The first half of the book was really interesting. The second half was largely repetitive. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Count | 1/5/2011

    " Incisive, multi-faceted look at the politics of backlash and reaction that seized the once-dominant (and radical) liberal bloc in Kansas and turned it on its head.

    An important look at the aikido of modern politics. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ben | 12/23/2010

    " Clever book on how the right has used the language of the radical to distract the working class from economic issues by confusing them with newer issues. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Zara | 12/17/2010

    " While I wish Frank would have spent more time describing what Democrats have done wrong and how they can remedy their mistakes, I found What's the Matter with Kansas? to be a disturbingly accurate portrayal of much of the Midwest. "

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About the Author
Author Thomas FrankThomas Frank is the author of Pity the Billionaire, The Wrecking Crew, and What’s the Matter with Kansas? A former columnist for The Wall Street Journal and Harper’s, Frank is the founding editor of The Baffler. He lives outside Washington, D.C.