The cover image of a mountain cabin is slightly misleading. Yes, aid should be tailored to avoid the sort of resentment that Vance felt at the grocery store. Rates of out-of-wedlock births and male joblessness were rising sharply. A barely suppressed contempt has characterized much of the commentary about white woe, on both the left and the right. Later, when Mamaw got angry that her husband, Papaw, had come home drunk again, she set him on fire. Where does blame stop and sympathy begin?
As Isenberg documents, the lower classes have been disregarded and shunted off for as long as the United States has existed.