STRANGERS IN THEIR OWN LAND by Arlie Russell Hochschild

STRANGERS IN THEIR OWN LAND

Anger and Mourning on the American Right
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

An acclaimed liberal sociologist examines “the increasingly hostile split” between America’s two major political parties and “how life feels to people on the right—that is…the emotion that underlies politics.”

Five years before Donald Trump’s presidential bid caught fire, Hochschild (So How's the Family?: And Other Essays, 2013, etc.) decided she wanted to better understand the political and cultural divides in the United States by immersing herself in the anti-government tea party culture so foreign to her own beliefs. Traveling regularly from her Berkeley, California, home to Lake Charles, Louisiana, the author arranged to spend large amounts of time with tea party members and additional self-identified conservatives to figure out how they came to their beliefs. Hochschild felt especially puzzled by the paradox of Louisiana residents residing in dangerously polluted areas yet opposing environmental regulations proposed by both the state and federal governments. Though upset by seemingly racist, sexist, ageist, and economic class hatreds among the men and women she came to know, Hochschild says her determination to observe empathetically rarely flagged. She quickly realized that many of the stated views held of the tea party members were often not fact-based but rather grounded in what life feels like to them—e.g., government feels intrusive, liberals feel condescending, members of racial and ethnic minorities feel lazy and threatening. Trying to imagine herself as the Lake Charles residents viewed themselves, Hochschild vowed to immerse herself thoroughly enough to comprehend what she terms their "deep stories,” and she felt grateful that the tea party members who found her views offensive nonetheless shared their time and thoughts generously. At times, Hochschild flirts with overgeneralizing and stereotyping, but for the most part, she conducts herself as a personable, nonjudgmental researcher.

A well-told chronicle of an ambitious sociological project of significant current importance.

Pub Date: Sept. 6th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-62097-225-0
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: New Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2016




10 NEW BOOKS GETTING MAJOR AWARD BUZZ :

NonfictionSTRANGERS IN THEIR OWN LAND by Arlie Russell Hochschild
by Arlie Russell Hochschild
FictionNEWS OF THE WORLD by Paulette Jiles
by Paulette Jiles
NonfictionBLOOD IN THE WATER by Heather Ann Thompson
by Heather Ann Thompson

OUR CRITICS' TAKES ON MORE BESTSELLERS

See full list >
Cover art for THANK YOU FOR BEING LATE
VERDICT:
BUY IT
Cover art for CHAOS
VERDICT:
SKIP IT
Cover art for THE DIABOLIC
VERDICT:
BUY IT
Cover art for SCRAPPY LITTLE NOBODY
VERDICT:
BORROW IT

MORE BY ARLIE RUSSELL HOCHSCHILD

NonfictionTHE OUTSOURCED SELF by Arlie Russell Hochschild
by Arlie Russell Hochschild
NonfictionGLOBAL WOMAN by Barbara Ehrenreich
by Barbara Ehrenreich
NonfictionTHE TIME BIND by Arlie Russell Hochschild
by Arlie Russell Hochschild

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

NonfictionTEA PARTY PATRIOTS by Mark Meckler
by Mark Meckler
NonfictionDEER HUNTING WITH JESUS by Joe Bageant
by Joe Bageant
NonfictionTEA PARTY WOMEN by Melissa Deckman
by