What’s the Matter with Kansas?
Moral values didn’t win the 2004 presidential election for the right. Neither did Iraq or Karl Rove. According to Thomas Frank, in What’s the Matter with Kansas?, it’s much deeper than that. This diplomatic read fits somewhere between Michael Moore and Ann Coulter; Frank’s “backlash theory” describes why much of middle America, specifically his home state of Kansas, voted against its own economic interests to install a leader who will push people off their farms and onto the streets. While morals do play a part in this paradox, Frank points to other instigators such as the pretentious Hollywood elite and the Democrats’ push further to the right. Frank has managed an insightful political summer read for those on either side of the fence.