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The View from Flyover Country: Dispatches from the Forgotten America

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  3,644 ratings  ·  548 reviews
In this collection of essays, St. Louis journalist Sarah Kendzior tackles issues including labor exploitation, racism, gentrification, media bias and other aspects of the post-employment economy. Sample titles: "The Peril of Hipster Economics", "The Wrong Kind of Caucasian", "Survival is Not an Aspiration". "Mothers Are Not 'Opting Out' -- They Are Out of Options", "Academ ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 17th 2018 by Flatiron Books (first published April 25th 2015)
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Average rating 4.13  · 
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Jennifer Masterson
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio, 2018
I just listened to this audio for a second time. This is an extremely important book. I highly recommend Sarah’s ( with Andrea Chalupa )podcast. It’s called Gaslit Nation. I listen weekly. I also follow Sarah on Twitter. She’s awesome!

Sarah Kendzior’s collection of essays is a must if you want to understand how this country ended up with Trump.

Highly highly recommended!

I’ve not been on Goodreads for awhile. I should have recommended this book and Sarah’s podcast long ago. If you haven’t read i
Jul 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
A fantastic essay collection by the woman often credited for first predicting Trump's rise to power. With intelligence and concision, Sarah Kendzior examines labor exploitation, gentrification, racism, the elitism within American higher education, and more. One central theme of this collection includes how our current economy privileges a select wealthy few while castigating the poor even when their poverty emerges from an unfair system as opposed to a lack of individual willpower. One quote of ...more
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"In the era of the audacity of hope, I made case for the audacity of despair."

"This is the view of the other America, from flyover country, the places and people often
ignored...... This is the view from flyover country, where the rich are less rich and the
the poor are more poor and everyone has fewer things to lose."

This book, 'The View From Flyover Country: Dispatches from the Forgotten America' by Sarah Kendzior, is a collection of essays which she wrote between 2012-2014 for Al Jazeera. S
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Originally published in 2015 and republished in 2018 with a new forward and an epilogye by the author, this collection of essays focuses on topics faced by the majority of Americans in the early 2010s - poverty and economic disparity, the rising cost of education, the diminishing value of that education, racism, who decides whose humanity matters, and more. I found them a bit repetitive because they were almost all essays that had been previously published in different places, so the author was ...more
(Note to new visitors: this is a review of the self-published 2015 edition of The View from Flyover Country. I haven't read the edition from Flatiron Books, which may contain different material.)

Sarah Kendzior ended up being my canary in a coal mine when it came to a recent large-scale political event. Or more accurately she was my Cassandra; I unfollowed her on twitter for a while before that event because I thought she was being too alarmist. Turns out, she was 100% correct. We can only hope h
May 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: miscellaneous
I have been following the work of Sarah Kendzior for quite a long time now and regularly read her essays on Aljazeera and elsewhere. She's one of the rare individuals who is at once a scholar, an intellectual, a journalist, an activist and a great writer so I was very thrilled to have so much of her work compiled in one place. The essays touch upon various social, economic and political issues but always in the context of larger systemic failures, so despite the diversity of the themes the book ...more
LAPL Reads
May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The results of the 2016 presidential election left many stunned. Over the course of the day, and into the evening, political pundits continued to predict Clinton would prevail, even as the Trump campaign gained significant leads and the election ended in a Trump victory. But there was at least one person who was not surprised: Sarah Kendzior, an academic researcher and St. Louis based journalist, could see the writing on the wall that others missed, and became one of the first credited with pred ...more
Jerrie (redwritinghood)
I have some reservations about this essay collection. She has a clear eye for current issues and can articulate her arguments well. I felt, however, that a lot of her focus was coming from the place of intellectual elites, who are suffering under the current economy, but whose lives are still very different from the majority. I had thought this book would look more at the average worker. As this was not composed as a collection originally, but is a gathering of her work over a period of a few ye ...more
Aug 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read
I've been following Sarah Kendzior's writing for a while, possibly since Ferguson first made it into mainstream news. I bought her book because I wanted to support her work. This book is strictly a collection that republishes essays and articles she's written before, with some minimal organization into certain topics.

When I revisited the book in November 2016, I wanted to understand how the United States elected Trump and what history predicts for our near future. I found that the essays were le
John E
Aug 25, 2018 rated it did not like it
After reading two essays I got your point. Repeating it 33 more times did not make it any more convincing. I agree that the poor and powerless need a much bigger voice and that changes need to be done. I don't want to "blame the victim" any more than the author, but I did not see much of a movement for them to vote in 2016. Protest marches and complaining are poor substitutes for an organized political and labor movements. Power can only be changed by other power and organization is power. ...more
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Let's get this out of the way first: yes, the title of this collection of essays is slightly misleading (comparatively few of the pieces actually focus on the Midwest, and most of those that do hone in on St Louis, the city in which author Sarah Kendzior lives). Yes, the essays themselves are really just a collection of short pieces and blog articles, written mostly for various online publications in the early 2010s and largely unrevised. Some of the pieces are repetitive, and some of them would ...more
This collection is a sobering look at modern American society, compiled from Kendzior's writings between 2011-2014. While covering a number of subjects and cases, she focuses most specifically on income inequality, poverty and social mobility, and modern academia and access to original research.

I read this on my Kindle app, which allowed me to share some of the highlights here on GR - take a peek at Kendzior's writing.
Kressel Housman
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’ve been listening to Sarah Kenzidor’s podcast “Gaslit Nation” for a least half a year now, so it was inevitable that I’d eventually get to her book. Since she’s from the Midwest and since “flyover country” is right in the title, I expected a cultural analysis of the region, but it was more about economics. As a result, even though I live a commuter’s distance from the coastal elite hub of New York City, I completely related. I always blamed myself for never having advanced beyond administrativ ...more
Barbara (The Bibliophage)
3.5 stars—Originally published on my book blog,

Sarah Kendzior has been blogging, writing, and working as a journalist since the early 2010s. Her book, The View from Flyover Country, gained prominence after the 2016 election because of her insightful tweets about the rise of the 45th President. Clearly, I’m just getting around to reading it, three years later.

The essays in the book reflect Kendzior’s perspectives and the issues she cares about. One element she discusses regula
Jul 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A potent, eye-opening, thought-provoking, and ... ultimately, important collection of essays from one of the newer, fresher voices of critical commentary/thinking during one of the most volatile, turbulent periods of the nation's history. (In other words, this is something that lots of folks should read (but there's no reason to think that the people who would learn the most from it would read it or be open to its information, message, or harsh truths.)

For folks that follow the author's ongoing
Jul 18, 2018 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people curious about the world and nature with a degree of empathy
My wife recently took a day-off from the camp SHE runs on the lake and we drove to Burlington. It was the first real blast of summer heat-and humidity, more like South Florida than central VT. Swimming in the lake was not even refreshing. She wanted to be away, possibly spend some time in AC, have something different to eat, in AC an of course, do a few odd-ball errands for camp: pick up a repaired cello and the three violas at Burlington Violins and get a pedicure. I decided to visit my favorit ...more
This is a phenomenal collection of essays on current social and cultural politics. Each essay seems to build and braid together, exploring race and class. There's exceptional empathy for the educated and poor, as well as the poor and uneducated ("educated" in the traditional, scholarly sense). A lot of fascinating and horrible insight into how academics work, too.

But the essay that hit hardest? It was the final Coda to the collection, written last September. It's a love story to living in Flyove
Erica Clou
Excellent essay collection! She's a dedicated and thorough reporter and she definitely speaks to me and for me. The essays have the over-arching theme of our broken economy and broken political system. Topics include expensive cities, a paucity of jobs mostly that underpay workers, freedom of speech, international affairs, human rights, and how it's all interrelated.

I'm one of the over-educated SAHMs, I studied international relations in undergrad, politics in graduate school, and then -- unabl
This book isn't what I expected. From the title, The View from Flyover Country: Dispatches from the Forgotten America, I anticipated a political analysis of the middle section of the USA. But that was just a small part of the geographical areas included in these essays. I learned more about Uzbekistan than Missouri. But that's OK. Every subject the author, Sarah Kendzior, discussed was very interesting. I think she chose this title because she's "dispatching" her articles from her home in St. Lo ...more
Scott Rhee
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
For a large percentage of Americans, living in Donald Trump’s America has been a terrifying nightmare, one that seems to have no end in sight. Unfortunately, Trump seems to be shaping into a new Teflon president. Like Ronald Reagan, no bad policy seems to be bad enough and no scandal seems to be crippling enough.

But Trump wasn’t born in a vacuum, and many of the problems facing Americans were problems long before Trump assumed the presidency. Granted, he hasn’t made them any better and, in fact,
Erin L
Feb 02, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is a series of essays that have previously been published in other places. I found each essay to be well written and obviously she has spent a lot of time thinking about the subject matter, but I'm not sure I always agree with her ultimate conclusions.

She often rails against meritocracy, academia and internship programs - with good reason - while she doesn't offer alternatives. I struggle to understand why universities continue to produce Ph.Ds at high rates, while so many have trouble
Duane Bindschadler
An elegant and spare explication of the hollowing out of our values and hence, our country

I came across Sarah Kendzior as a result of her writings on Donald Trump and the media's role in the 2106 Presidential campaign. She spoke with a distinctive and clear voice that resolutely and repeatedly punctured the hot air balloon of what was being reported in the conventional mainstream media.

This book is collection of essays in which she captures for the reader a grounded, middle-American (that is, n
The title and description of this book are pretty misleading - I'm not sure how most of these essays relate to "living in flyover country," as they seem pretty universally american (under employment, low and stagnant wages, systemic bias, gentrification, diminishing trust in government and institutions, etc.). I guess I also expected a bit more "journalism" here - interviews, cited sources, etc. - but these essays read more like angry blog posts.

Also, I know these were all originally published e
Nov 17, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: usa, audiobook, politics
105th book for 2018.

I liked Kendzior when I have seen her on a number of TV shows discussing the rise of Trump.

So I was really looking forward to reading this book and getting a deep dive into how "flyover country" thinks and why it voted for Trump. No such thing happened. This is book reads like a series of poorly edited blog posts, with lots of repetition between chapters, that mostly whines about how hard it is to get a real job as a millennial, especially as someone with higher-academic degr
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These essays are collected from the last few years and I'd already read some of them, or some versions of them, online. But it was still a valuable use of my time to read all of her sharp insights about American culture (and how fucked up it is). If you're not familiar with Sarah Kendzior, she's such a smart and insightful writer, I can't recommend her insights enough. ...more
Bryan Cook
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 10-for-2018
I picked up this book because of Kendzior's reputation as "the woman who predicted Trump." I expected these essays to dive deep into the soul of the heartland, painting a picture of the neglect and atrophy found in Middle America.

They did not.

The book is essentially a series of blog post-length essays, many of which contain similar phrases that make the book feel terribly repetitive. Her focus seems not to center on the demographics typically associated with Trump voters, but ironically the oppo
Babak Shalchi
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a collection of essays by the author, published within the last decade. These essays shed light on the current state of affairs in the US politics and also include insight on the political and social state of the Central Asian countries. This book helps understanding the rise of right-wing politicians and Trumpism in the USA. with an emphasis on the role of traditional media and social media. The role of big media on normalization of abhorring crimes such as the war in Gaza, Iraq an ...more
Kent Winward
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These essays are interesting because of the alternate view they give of life in the United States, but ultimately their strength is also their weakness, since it remains a solitary view of a complex nation.
Jan 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Other than the few mentions of her hometown St. Louis, there really was nothing about this collection of essays that is connected to flyover country. Entire sections were devoted to the unfair pay structure for journalists and those in academia; particularly adjunct professors and interns. There's definitely value in learning about these inequalities, I was expecting a lot more from this. ...more
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I might be a little bit obsessed with Sarah Kendzior. A journalist and expert on authoritarian states, she was one of the first people to sound the alarm about the dangers of a Trump presidency (and obviously, wasn't taken seriously), and she hosts a brilliant podcast about the current administration, Gaslit Nation. If you aren't reading or listening to her, you should be. She's one of the smartest voices speaking on current affairs, right now.

This book's success has an interesting trajectory, p
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Sarah Kendzior is best known for her reporting on St. Louis, her coverage of the 2016 election, and her academic research on authoritarian states.

With Andrea Chalupa, she hosts the podcast "Gaslit Nation".

She is currently an op-ed columnist for the Globe and Mail and she was named by Foreign Policy as one of the “100 people you should be following on Twitter to make sense of global events.”

Her r

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'Tis the season of the beach read, that herald of summer sun and vacation vibes! Whether you're the type of reader who has very strict rules...
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“The surest way to keep a problem from being solved is to deny that problem exists. Telling people not to complain is a way of keeping social issues from being addressed. It trivializes the grievances of the vulnerable, making the burdened feel like burdens. Telling people not to complain is an act of power, a way of asserting that one's position is more important than another one's pain. People who say "stop complaining" always have the right to stop listening. But those who complain have often been denied the right to speak.” 38 likes
“In the American media, white people debate whether race matters, rich people debate whether poverty matters, and men debate whether gender matters. People for whom these problems must matter -- for they structure the limitations of their lives -- are locked out of the discussion.” 12 likes
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