Poor white Americans tend to vote against their own interests, a phenomenon that has long perplexed political observers. For the 2008 election, a touchstone book was Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America’s Class War by Joe Bageant (PRH/Crown).
This year, journalists are turning to two new books to try to understand the issue.
Debuting on the NYT Hardcover Nonfiction best seller list this week at #9 is Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance (Harper; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), which we first wrote about last week, as holds began to soar, based on media coverage.
Immediately behind it is White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg (PRH/Viking; Tantor Audio; OverDrive Sample), at #10 after six weeks. The author was interviewed a few days ago on the Bill Moyer’s website, noting:
“Since voters who feel unrepresented don’t expect anything new from practiced politicians, they have become convinced that Trump is talking to and not about them … They’re hearing his anger, an anger they recognize.”
When we checked in June, library holds were minimal, but that has changed. It is now topping a 4:1 ratio in most libraries.