Saturday, October 21, 2023

Pg. 99: Steven Conn's "The Lies of the Land"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: The Lies of the Land: Seeing Rural America for What It Is―and Isn’t by Steven Conn.

About the book, from the publisher:
A new history that boldly challenges the idea of a rural American crisis.

It seems everyone has an opinion about rural America. Is it gripped in a tragic decline? Or is it on the cusp of a glorious revival? Is it the key to understanding America today? Steven Conn argues that we’re missing the real question: Is rural America even a thing? No, says Conn, who believes we see only what we want to see in the lands beyond the suburbs—fantasies about moral (or backward) communities, simpler (or repressive) living, and what it means to be authentically (or wrongheadedly) American. If we want to build a better future, Conn argues, we must accept that these visions don’t exist and never did.

In The Lies of the Land, Conn shows that rural America—so often characterized as in crisis or in danger of being left behind—has actually been at the center of modern American history, shaped by the same forces as everywhere else in the country: militarization, industrialization, corporatization, and suburbanization. Examining each of these forces in turn, Conn invites us to dispense with the lies and half-truths we’ve believed about rural America and to pursue better solutions to the very real challenges shared all across our nation.
Learn more about The Lies of the Land the University of Chicago Press website.

The Page 99 Test: History's Shadow.

The Page 99 Test: Americans Against the City.

The Page 99 Test: The Lies of the Land.

--Marshal Zeringue