It’s been quite a ride. In the 18 months after the publication of White Working Class, I spent more time in the halls of Congress than I did in the 25 years I lived in DC. The full range of Democrats and progressives, from Joe Biden to Nancy Pelosi to Bernie Sanders to Kamala Harris, listened to me with apparent attentiveness. I addressed both the House and the Senate committees in charge of Democrats’ messaging. I knew I was making progress when one congressman asked me fervently, “Do you know that two-thirds of Americans don’t have college degrees?” When I first started spouting that statistic, no one in my circle would believe it. Everyone they knew had college degrees.

To my surprise, the book also has been influential outside the ...

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