Difference between revisions of ""Front-row" vs. "Back-row" America"

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Latest revision as of 12:33, 7 June 2019

The thesis of this book — if it has one — is that the most fundamental division in American life is not partisan or geographic or, except incidentally, racial or religious. The real gap is between what Arnade calls "front-row" and "back-row" America, that is, between the sort of people who accepted the sinister logic of credentialism and took their places in our globalized meritocracy and those who, for any number of reasons, remained behind. Many members of the former group are, like Arnade himself, committed liberals and progressives, who believe that by supporting the right political candidates and donating money to the appropriate causes they will improve the lot of the former. They despair of the violence, addiction, and exploitation visited upon back-row America, assuming they are aware of them. But they do not, on the whole, question the division, which they accept as a natural consequence of their education.

- Matthew Walther summarizing Chris Arnade's Dignity [1]