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The Forgotten

How the People of One Pennsylvania County Elected Donald Trump and Changed America
Narrated by: Kiff Vandenheuvel
Length: 7 hrs and 16 mins
Categories: History, 21st Century
4.5 out of 5 stars (25 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The people of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, voted Democratic for decades, until Donald Trump flipped it in 2016. What happened?

Named one of the "juiciest political books to come in 2018" by Entertainment Weekly.

In The Forgotten, Ben Bradlee, Jr., reports on how voters in Luzerne County, a pivotal county in a crucial swing state, came to feel like strangers in their own land - marginalized by flat or falling wages, rapid demographic change, and a liberal culture that mocks their faith and patriotism.

Fundamentally rural and struggling with changing demographics and limited opportunity, Luzerne County can be seen as a microcosm of the nation. In The Forgotten, Trump voters speak for themselves, explaining how they felt others were "cutting in line" and that the federal government was taking too much money from the employed and giving it to the idle. The loss of breadwinner status, and more importantly, the loss of dignity, primed them for a candidate like Donald Trump. 

The political facts of a divided America are stark, but the stories of the men, women, and families in The Forgotten offer a kaleidoscopic and fascinating portrait of the complex on-the-ground political reality of America today.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2018 Ben Bradlee (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"This is a book that should be absorbed by the millions of Democrats who still cannot understand how Donald Trump won in 2016. Bradlee did what the brightest editors in New York and California did not assign their reporters to do - he spent months talking to white working class Americans in a rural county in Pennsylvania - a nominally blue state - and learned the hard way, on the job, that Trump was a far more viable candidate than the elite thought. This is a real reporter's book." (Seymour M. Hersh, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter)

"The Forgotten is a riveting and empathetic portrait of a cross-section of (mostly disillusioned) people of Luzerne County, PA., which arguably gave Trump that state - and the Presidency. As we near the 2018 midterms, which will largely be a referendum on the Trump Presidency and the future of our nation, Ben Bradlee Jr.'s "listening - reporting" of the stories of those whose votes shook this country in 2016 offers complex, sobering and important lessons for the future of our country." (Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of The Nation)

"Ben Bradlee's The Forgotten is an eyeopening look at the American electorate in the Age of Trump. By honing in on a singular Pennsylvania county Bradlee brilliantly dissects the myriad of reasons behind our Great Political Divide. A must read!" (Douglas Brinkley, historian and professor of history at Rice University)

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On the money

Accurate. Timely. Lessons to be learned. Not the whole story, but the part of the story that matters.

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Great Insight

As one trying to get past the political division into understanding, this book was a great companion to Woodward’s Fear. While I don’t agree with many of the citizens interviewed in this book (I had to take a break and resume listening after a month), at least I now get why our views are so different.

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  • Walter
  • Flossmoor, IL, United States
  • 11-05-18

Wow

Being from the NEPA area and having left there permanently in 1978 this was an eye opener. People were not like this when I lived there. I guess Trump emboldened racists to act on their thoughts, really sad. I am struggling to understand this, it is really bothering me. I hope I can understand why and I hope that this mindset goes away. We are all people and , oh well, I just do not understand or condone this approach.