On not rising to the top

Over at Good Reports I’ve posted my review of Arlie Russell Hochschild’s Strangers In Their Own Land. It’s an excellent work of social reportage that stands alongside Brian Alexander’s Glass House as an attempt to explain and understand what is happening in the United States, and in particular the forces that led to the election of Donald Trump.

What I find interesting is that there was another book on the same general topic that was published at the same time: Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance. To say that Vance’s book received far more coverage and enjoyed better sales than the other two books combined would, I think, be an understatement. And yet of the three I think it’s by far the worst. The cream doesn’t always rise to the top.

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