Red State Blues: Stories from Midwestern Life on the Left
Edited by Martha Bayne
Much has been made of the 2016 electoral flip of traditionally Democratic states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Ohio to tip Donald Trump into the presidency. Countless think pieces have explored this newfound exotic constituency of blue voters who swung red. But what about those who remain true blue? Red State Blues speaks to the lived experience of progressives, activists, and ordinary Democrats pushing back against simplistic narratives of the Midwest as "Trump Country." They've been there all along, and as the essays in this collection demonstrate, they're not leaving anytime soon. With contributions by journalist and scholar Sarah Kendzior, Kenyon College president Sean Decatur, Pittsburgh city councilman Dan Gilman, and more.
"Instead of seeing this collection as a gathering of frustrated liberal voices eager to be heard above the nativist din, Red State Blues is closer to a blues lament." Chris Barsanti, Rain Taxi Review of Books
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Martha Bayne is a Belt Publishing senior editor. Her work has appeared in publications such as The Baffler, Belt Magazine, the Chicago Reader, Latterly, and the Chicago Reporter. She lives in Chicago.