This was my fault. I got excited on Black Friday and bought all the books that looked interesting. I saw this book and the synopsis and was thinking that this might be an exploration of poor white America from a journalistic perspective. Something like Evicted but with a focus on how poverty perpetuates racial divides, how poor white Americans separate themselves from poor black and latinx Americans by convincing themselves that they’re temporarily disenfranchised but the other poor people have done something wrong.
I got to the line about a state being 19th in teen pregnancies but 7th in teen birth because the women in that state were less “savage” than their contemporaries in other states. What. I read that line. I reread it. I tried to make it make sense as anything but an attack. I flipped the book over. Blurb from the National Review. I look at the jacket flap. Former contributor to the National Review.
I probably should have stopped there and cut my losses, but I read all of this pretentious man’s moralizing (boy does he love defining names – patronymic, matronym… we get it, you went to college; too bad you didn’t learn anything there except how to be condescending and use ten dollar words). It got worse. The whole book is a tour of America from someone who loves his country except for all of the people in it, because he’s better than them. I can’t. I don’t even want to sell this back to the bookstore and have people know I bought this. Why can’t I just give zero stars? I want this to have negative stars.