The Left Behind: Decline and Rage in Small-Town America, 1st Edition

  • Robert J. Barro Harvard University
  • Published By:
  • ISBN-10: 0691195153
  • ISBN-13: 9780691195155
  • DDC: 307.720973
  • 208 Pages | eBook
  • Original Copyright 2019 | Published/Released October 2019
  • This publication's content originally published in print form: 2019

  • Price:  Sign in for price



This title explains how a fraying social fabric is fueling the outrage of rural Americans toward the federal government and why rural Americans voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump, and gives a more nuanced explanation for the growing rural-urban divide. Drawing on more than a decade of research and hundreds of interviews, the author brings us into America’s small towns, farms, and rural communities to paint a rich portrait of the moral order—the interactions, loyalties, obligations, and identities—underpinning this segment. He demonstrates that to truly understand rural Americans’ anger, their culture must be explored more fully, and he shows that rural America’s fury stems less from economic concerns than from a perception that Washington is distant and yet threatening to the social fabric of small towns. Moving beyond simplistic depictions of America’s heartland, this volume offers a clearer picture of how this important population will influence the nation’s political future.

Table of Contents

Front Cover.
Other Frontmatter.
Robert Wuthnow.
Half Title Page.
Title Page.
Copyright Page.
The Left Behind.
1: Communities.
2: Present Dangers.
3: Makeshift Solutions.
4: Washington's Broken.
5: Moral Decline.
6: Bigotry.
Further Reading.

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Robert J. Barro

Born in New York City, Robert Barro moved to Los Angeles, where he studied undergraduate physics at Caltech, including classes from the famous Richard Feynman. He changed his focus to economics for graduate school at Harvard University. Dr. Barro returned to Harvard as a professor in 1987. He served as president of the Western Economic Association and vice president of the American Economic Association. In addition to academic research, Professor Barro is an accomplished writer for the popular press. He worked as a viewpoint columnist for BUSINESSWEEK from 1998 to 2006 and contributing editor of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL from 1991 to 1998.