• What's the Matter with Kansas?

  • How Conservatives Won the Heart of America
  • By: Thomas Frank
  • Narrated by: Thomas Frank
  • Length: 8 hrs and 57 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (49 ratings)

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What's the Matter with Kansas?

By: Thomas Frank
Narrated by: Thomas Frank
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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times bestseller, praised as "hilariously funny . . . the only way to understand why so many Americans have decided to vote against their own economic and political interests" (Molly Ivins).

**Unabridged for the first time with a new introduction**

This program is read by the author.

Hailed as "dazzlingly insightful and wonderfully sardonic" (Chicago Tribune), "very funny and very painful" (San Francisco Chronicle), and "in a different league from most political books" (The New York Observer), What's the Matter with Kansas? unravels the great political mystery of our day: Why do so many Americans vote against their economic and social interests? With his acclaimed wit and acuity, Thomas Frank answers the riddle by examining his home state, Kansas—a place once famous for its radicalism that now ranks among the nation's most eager participants in the culture wars. Charting what he calls the "thirty-year backlash"—the popular revolt against a supposedly liberal establishment—Frank reveals how conservatism, once a marker of class privilege, became the creed of millions of ordinary Americans.

A brilliant analysis—and funny to boot—What's the Matter with Kansas? is a vivid portrait of an upside-down world where blue-collar patriots recite the Pledge while they strangle their life chances; where small farmers cast their votes for a Wall Street order that will eventually push them off their land; and where a group of frat boys, lawyers, and CEOs has managed to convince the country that it speaks on behalf of the People.

A Macmillan Audio production from Metropolitan Books

©2004 Thomas Frank (P)2021 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

“Very funny and very painful.... Add another literary gold star after Thomas Frank's name.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

“Frank is a formidable controversialist-imagine Michael Moore with a trained brain and an intellectual conscience.” (George F. Will, The Washington Post)

“Dazzlingly insightful and wonderfully sardonic.... Frank has made much sense of the world in this book.” (Chicago Tribune)

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Well worth the wait

Frank was ahead of the curve in predicting the return of economic in political discourse. It’s funny that this book, the key to all of what he’s written since, was the last to come out in audio format, as it becomes a conclusion as well as a thesis. This work is just as relevant 20 years on, especially as the trends it describes have all progressed (so to speak).

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Amazing how things have gotten so much worse since this book was written

This book was written quite some time before Trump became president and his lost to Biden things have gotten so much worse Mr. Frank needs to write a more up-to-date book and I’m sure it’ll be very much gloom and doom overall a truly awesome book by Mr. Frank

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Eureka

This book created a Eureka moment indeed. On a whim I looked up Eureka and there's one in Kansas. Fortunately, it's not one of the many alleged Sundown Towns in Kansas.

As a flyover state, Kansas is one of those states you have to look up to be sure of its exact place, so it's humbling to think it is leading the divisive social revolution with the Koch Bros funding it and getting a return on their investment. Fortunately, women's liberty appears saved by the state Constitution, with an insurance policy called a clear majority.

Though an older book, it still seems as much if not more relevant today. There are moments of enormous clarity. And this clarity and perhaps the national movement much of Kansas aspires to, will keep this book relevant well into tomorrow and in the other states.

As an aside...With Roe having sadly fallen and the looming potential for a convention of the states, the author's candor would do prophetic justice tackling such a likelihood, given such Confederate romance would seemingly clash with the author's premise of the working class's rainbow like aspiration for social righteousness while giving both ends filled with pots of gold to the wealthy. Just what would come of such a convention?

A must read. Thanks for sharing.