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Strangers in Their Own Land Audiobook

Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right

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Publisher's Summary

In Strangers in Their Own Land, the renowned sociologist Arlie Hochschild embarks on a thought-provoking journey from her liberal hometown of Berkeley, California, deep into Louisiana bayou country - a stronghold of the conservative right. As she gets to know people who strongly oppose many of the ideas she famously champions, Hochschild nevertheless finds common ground and quickly warms to the people she meets, among them a Tea Party activist whose town has been swallowed by a sinkhole caused by a drilling accident - people whose concerns are actually ones that all Americans share: the desire for community, the embrace of family, and hopes for their children.

Strangers in Their Own Land goes beyond the commonplace liberal idea that these are people who have been duped into voting against their own interests. Instead Hochschild finds lives ripped apart by stagnant wages, a loss of home, an elusive American dream - and political choices and views that make sense in the context of their lives. Hochschild draws on her expert knowledge of the sociology of emotion to help us understand what it feels like to live in "red" America. Along the way she finds answers to one of the crucial questions of contemporary American politics: Why do the people who would seem to benefit most from "liberal" government intervention abhor the very idea?

Cover image © Richard Misrach, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York and Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles

©2016 Arlie Russell Hochschild (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

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Performance


There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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  • Terry
    16/06/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Must read for political moderates"
    What made the experience of listening to Strangers in Their Own Land the most enjoyable?

    Complex issues are easy to conceptualize. The "Deep Stories" of the politically right and left were helpful in understanding and remembering the concepts of the great paradox and the empathy wall in the book.


    What other book might you compare Strangers in Their Own Land to and why?

    Hillbilly Elegy


    What about Suzanne Toren’s performance did you like?

    voice is easy to listen to and it was like listening to the author.


    If you could give Strangers in Their Own Land a new subtitle, what would it be?

    Reduce political partisanism


    Any additional comments?

    At the end of the book she forgets the ideas of staying objective with the empathy wall and provides only the politically left view in her data.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Kate
    4/04/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing and eye-opening"

    Absolutely amazing, thought-provoking, and eye-opening. I couldn't recommend it more, especially to coastal liberals trying to wrap their minds around the results of the 2016 election.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • David Annis
    5/04/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Better Explanation of Current Society"

    This helped me understand the US electorate. Must read for everyone Republican or Democrat. highly recommended.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • F, 36, married, one tall dog
    Bay Area, CA
    2/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Performance undercuts thesis"

    After Trump won, I decided I needed to read more about the white America that I never talk to. I started with this book because it was recommended by the Director of the National Book Foundation, but immediately ran into a serious flaw in that recommendation: it's written by a UCBerkeley professor. She talks about the empathy wall, but here I am trying to reach across that divide and doing it by means of somebody well entrenched on my side.

    The biggest problem I had with this as an audible experience is that the reader has a seriously pretentious accent. What is that? It's not any accent I've encountered in real life. It's some performance projection, but undermines the content. One of the conclusions the author reached in her study of right wing Southern Republicans is that their feelings are hurt by what they perceive to be the disdain the left has for their lifestyle, priorities, and voting. I think the author makes an effort to balance her disagreement and to express her gratitude for their hospitality and willingness to talk to her, the tone of the reader in this audio version is so bizarre that it reinforces the sense that the liberal elite fancies itself superior to "real" America.

    42 of 52 people found this review helpful
  • Alexandra Hopkins
    La Crescenta, CA United States
    22/07/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Informative, entertaining, and, yes, life-changing"

    I read this book to find out why people in the middle of our country and in the South voted for Trump. That's what I found out. Along the way, it was enjoyable and entertaining.

    I had already read "Hillbilly Elegy" and "The Unwinding." Hochschild, the author and a sociologist, was able to get into the minds and hearts of people in a Louisiana bayou town. While she started as a University of California, Berkeley, professor, she also lived with these people for five years. She became friends with them and part of their community. So, she was able to open me up to understanding where these people are coming from. This is a major change in my life--now I have hope that we Americans can better understand each other.

    If we are to bind up the gaping chasm between Liberals and Trump-supporters, we must understand each other. We must find common ground. I believe that there is common ground if we get to know each other better.

    I highly recommend "Strangers in Their Own Land."

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Kay Dee
    28/06/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Throw away Hillbilly Elegy. THIS is the book that explains the white conservative vote"

    This book, so throughly and expertly researched , reported and written, details and explains the deep story of disaffected white Trump voters. By comparison, Hillbilly Elegy is a high school journal with little to no explanative power.
    Hoschild interviews over 40 residents in Louisiana and uncovers the phenomenon of not only the Great Paradox, but also the Deep Story of what makes a white conservative and a Trump voter vote the way the do. A MUST READ for anyone who cares about the present and future of this country

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Jennifer Callaway
    13/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Buyer beware"

    I was so disappointed with this book. I am a little to the right of center but more left leaning on some issues, the environment being one. But the whole first half of this book is basically a diatribe against big business pollution in the guise of "trying to scale the wall of empathy." Even when she finally got to what she thought the real issue was, she framed the rest of the book in that overly simplified analogy and never bothered to explore any further.
    The narrator had an arrogant, sarcastic tone whenever she read quotes from tea partyers, which just added to the complete lack of empathy the book ended up portraying. I am very interested in this subject, but it would be lovely if someone with more genuine motives would write a book on it.

    22 of 30 people found this review helpful
  • Jean
    Santa Cruz, CA, United States
    2/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thought-provoking"

    Hochschild is a University of California Berkeley sociologist. She states she was attempting to understand the Great Paradox: the fact that people in the poorest states who most need federal programs consistently vote for candidates who oppose those programs. The author traveled to Louisiana one of the poorest states and the one hardest hit by environmental pollution.

    The people see their homes fall into sink holes caused by toxic waste, see deformities in wildlife and cancer in people including children caused by industrial pollution. They support deregulation of industry and cuts in federal aid. Hochschild says they tell her pollution is the sacrifice they have to make for capitalism. They apparently have a great mistrust of the federal government even more so than state government.

    One comment the author made stuck with me. “She quickly realized that many of the stated views held by the tea party members were often not fact based but rather grounded in what life FEELS like to them.”

    I gained some information and understanding from this book. I was amazed at the destruction of Louisiana by industrial pollution. I learned enough to know we have some big problems in this country that have created this situation and will tolerate the massive dangerous pollution. Louisiana is such a beautiful area; it makes me sick to learn about all the pollution. I liked the fact checking section at the end of the book; I found that most helpful. I also did a random check of the fact-checking and found the ones I looked up to be correct.

    Suzanna Toren did a good job narrating the book. Toren is an award-winning audiobook narrator.

    26 of 37 people found this review helpful
  • Suzanna
    Aurora, IL, United States
    24/02/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Maybe with different narrator"

    The content is thought provoking, but the narration is difficult to stick with. I listen for about an hour at a time--that's all I can take. The tone of the narrator is condescending...I imagine her saying: "...and then we observed the elusive male redneck in his natural environment... I still think her take is useful to listen to... as I find trying to keep an open mind challenging

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Sylvia
    King George, VA, United States
    14/02/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I Tried; I Really Tried..."
    Would you ever listen to anything by Arlie Russell Hochschild again?

    Probably not.


    Any additional comments?

    This book was described in that I did not think I would hear the deep-liberal overtones, inflections and sarcasm of the mostly conservative residents of the deep south. But, it's all over the book. I skipped around after an hour or so; I was really hoping for an unbiased analysis. Not to be. Maybe it was the way the narrator read it, but I believe this author's background could never allow her to present a fair, indiscriminate view of the land and people where I grew up.

    11 of 16 people found this review helpful
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  • sarahbia
    wigan, england
    22/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dull"

    Dull and unsatisfying. I only got as far as j did thanks to the acclaim this book received. I fail to see what all the fuss was about. My recommendation - don't bother.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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