The Appalachification of America
TOPIC: Tom begins by discussing a recent review he authored about George Packer’s The Unwinding, which has won the National Book Award. Tom wrote, “The gradual Appalachification of much of the United States has been a well-known phenomenon for 20 years now; it is not difficult to understand why and how it happened; and yet the ship of state sails serenely on in the same political direction as though nothing had changed…Maybe because our period is similar to the ’30s. Maybe because elegy and lyric, written without hope for a political rescue, are the appropriate means to describe the disintegration of middle-class America. After all, how many more books screaming about some Great Disaster being worked on the American Dream do we need? What kind of chart can an author or a blogger or a columnist present that would make the slightest bit of difference anymore? The truth is that journalism is almost completely irrelevant. And so maybe only art matters.”
ORIGINAL BROADCAST DATE: Monday, November 25, 2013.