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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 senior editor with Belt Publishing and a Chicago-based freelance writer. Her work has been published in regional and national outlets including Buzzfeed, Eater, the Chicago Reader, the Chicago Reporter, the Baffler, and Puerto Rico’s Center for Investigative Journalism. She is also the editor of Rust Belt Chicago: An Anthology and The Chicago Neighborhood Guidebook, both published by Belt, and the author of the narrative cookbook Soup & Bread Cookbook: Building Community One Pot at a Time (Agate, 2011).

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