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Small-Town America by Robert Wuthnow

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Washington Is Broken

Politics and the New Populism

DURING THE 2008 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN, Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin drew widespread praise from part of the electorate for suggesting that Americans who live in small towns—like her community of Wasilla, Alaska, population nine thousand—were somehow more authentic, harder working, and more committed to honesty, sincerity, and dignity than the rest of the country. Pundits had a field day arguing that a candidate so distant from the action in urban and corporate America was incapable of understanding the true challenges facing the nation. In any case, they noted, too few of the population still lived in small-town America to make much of a difference in a national election. ...

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