Monday, 20 March 2017

Hochschild, Arlie Russell "Strangers in Their Own Land"

Hochschild, Arlie Russell "Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right" - 2016

I have read this book in the hope that I will understand the Republicans a little better and I truly believe that the author wrote it in order to understand them. I still don't understand. And I doubt the author does. How can you not want the government to help you when the companies pollute your environment? There are people out there who know what goes wrong but still don't want any rules for the companies who destroy their lives, their landscapes, bring cancer and other illnesses to their families and treat the few people who work for them like rubbish.

I think the difference between Democrats/Liberals and Republicans is that the former sees the government as a caring parent who will help you on your way, sending you to a good school, making sure you'll find your way in the world, taking care of you when you are sick or can't do anything and for that you help in the household. The latter see them as as Big Brother who doesn't just watch you, doesn't share their toys but takes away all yours and destroys them. Well, without a caring parent, companies will just behave like Big Brother.

I would recommend this book to anyone, especially Republicans, in order to understand where this is all going and how we hopefully can find a better way to save this planet.

From the back cover:
"In Strangers in Their Own Land, the renowned sociologist Arlie Hochschild embarks on a thought-provoking journey from her liberal hometown of Berkeley, California, deep into Louisiana bayou country--a stronghold of the conservative right. As she gets to know people who strongly oppose many of the ideas she famously champions, Hochschild nevertheless finds common ground and quickly warms to the people she meets--among them a Tea Party activist whose town has been swallowed by a sinkhole caused by a drilling accident--people whose concerns are actually ones that all Americans share: the desire for community, the embrace of family, and hopes for their children.

Strangers in Their Own Land goes beyond the commonplace liberal idea that these are people who have been duped into voting against their own interests. Instead, Hochschild finds lives ripped apart by stagnant wages, a loss of home, an elusive American dream--and political choices and views that make sense in the context of their lives. Hochschild draws on her expert knowledge of the sociology of emotion to help us understand what it feels like to live in "red" America. Along the way she finds answers to one of the crucial questions of contemporary American politics: why do the people who would seem to benefit most from "liberal" government intervention abhor the very idea?"

A friend sent me a link to an article about two books, One Way To Bridge The Political Divide: Read The Book That's Not For You.  You can find the review to the other book "Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates here.


  1. I admire you for trying to understand all this.

    1. Thank you, Judy,

      I try, that's for sure. I believe if history has taught us anything is that it's always the little people who lose out and we need to know as much as possible so that history will not repeat itself. Although I have little hope in that at the moment.

      But I will carry on reading and spreading the knowledge shared by so many as long as I live.