the view from flyover country
Dispatches from the forgotten America
Sarah Kendzior
Flatiron Books

This is a collection of essays written by Sarah Kendzior. It was never intended to be published in book format but the conditions for these essays, written over a 5 year period,” systematic corruption, the breakdown of institutions and a post employment economy where you pay to play or you fall through the cracks” was still very much prevalent. The authors collection of essays over the years are put assembled in 7 sections, all depicting forgotten areas of American society. From Flyover county and beyond.

The stories are mainly from America’s forgotten towns or those left behind in. With hindsight you could see something was bubbling under and change was being screamt for. Not too many expected the change that was gonna come and those towns still seem somewhat left behind.

America, the land of the free and opportunity isn’t quite that for many. Third level education is a “purchased loyalty to an imagined employer….College is a promise the economy does not keep – but not going to college promises you will struggle to survive.” This is a situation spreading across the Atlantic to our country. Many employers are now seeking college degrees for jobs that do not require them in any way.

These towns and beyond contain a populace distrustful of those in power and many for good reason. “The real sadness, is that ordinary people are insignificant to the government. You do not need a database to watch Americans suffer.” That line by Kendzior sums up trumps election for me. A people forgotten about putting their trust in someone they thought they could have faith in. Their problems blamed on others. That is the danger in the rise of populism, the message can seem quite clear ‘I’m your friend, your problems are due to the enemy’ )insert enemy here) bothers are the people whose hearts and minds we need to win over.

Look at the war on Iraq, it’s not that people didn’t get away with lying – they did. A war was created on false pretenses and those involved continue in positions of power. Much like what has happened throughout the western world regarding austerity and bank bailouts. The system that allowed it is still operating, the engineers behind the sorry mess are still pulling the strings and people are looking for scapegoats that take the pressure off the establishment. How do we change this?

Many of the essays contain that dichotomy. A land of contradiction for sure.

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