In The Politics of Resentment, Katherine J. Cramer unlocks and explores an often disregarded part of the ongoing political conundrum we find ourselves in today, which is rural political consciousness and the resentment of the suburban and urban “elite”. Although the book is using Scott Walker and Wisconsin’s long term and intriguing debate about the role of government in this state, the book also shows us that the rural-urban divide in Wisconsin has become in many ways a microcosm of our country as a whole. Her work focuses on the way people in Wisconsin and in the U.S. make sense of politics and their place within it. What I found most compelling and moving was Dr. Cramer’s methodology. Most research relies on polling and surveys, but Dr. Cramer conducted her research by popping in on casual gatherings in rural areas throughout the state in coffee shops, gas stations and even a dice game going on in a back room of a cafe. She listened and engaged in conversations with people on what they had to say while sitting with their neighbors and friends. The conversations were heartfelt and warm and sprinkled throughout with humor and pain. It allowed me to get into the hearts and lives of the people in a way that would be missed by survey data and polls and to understand that how people see themselves, how well they feel represented and seen, or not, by the politicians of today, and how well a politician’s social identity matches their own, has played an enormous role in what is happening not just in Wisconsin, but in the U.S. today. I hope you’ll take a listen to this extraordinary audiobook and that you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed narrating it!
Coleen Marlo, Narrator – Politics of Resentment