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Rainbow pie : a memoir of redneck America…
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Rainbow pie : a memoir of redneck America (original 2010; edición 2010)

por Joe Bageant

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Rainbow Pie is a coming-of-age memoir wrapped around a discussion of America's most taboo subject - social class. Set between 1950 and 1963, Joe Bageant uses Maw, Pap, Ony Mae, and other members of his rambunctious Scots-Irish family to chronicle the often-heartbreaking post-war journey of 22 million rural Americans into the cities, where they became the foundation of a permanent white underclass. Combining recollection, stories, accounts, remembrance, and analysis, the book offers an intimate look at what Americans lost in the massive and orchestrated post-war social and economic shift from.… (más)
Miembro:RustBelt
Título:Rainbow pie : a memoir of redneck America
Autores:Joe Bageant
Info:London : Portobello, 2010.
Colecciones:Tu biblioteca, Lo he leído pero no lo tengo
Valoración:****1/2
Etiquetas:OverDrive Read

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Rainbow Pie: A Redneck Memoir por Joe Bageant (2010)

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There is genius in this book. For instance, it's incredible to read him use his own family's history to trace the deep roots of poor, rural white culture in America. But unfortunately, as much a fan as I am of 85% of Joe's thinking (RIP), it doesn't come across too well in this book. ( )
  mitchtroutman | Jun 14, 2020 |
In his blog "Dark Ages America", Morris Berman pointed my way to this dynamite critique of the American corporocracy post World-War II. Although drawn from the author's own upbringing in rural West Virginia, the folks he describes remind me of my own relatives in Wisconsin. I daresay they represent rural values nationwide.

Bageant reckons that one would be hard put to find two thousand dollars cash in the entire small town nearest his childhood home, Yet they did not consider themselves poor. They were, rather, a self-sufficient community of self-reliant citizens helping one other out informally (although not so informally as a casual visitor might suppose) by barter and favors. They lived abundantly by making frugality into an art form.

Why did they tend to be stubbornly anti-intellectual and at odds with urbanity? Answer: because in their experience, every well-schooled person they ever encountered was some kind of shyster, a city slicker out to screw them over. Eventually, the city slicker won: in the name of the industrial juggernaut honed in wartime, they, their values, and their culture had to go. They would be uprooted from their ancestral land and herded into the cities, where their own integrity would become a handicap, ensuring that they remained an exploited underclass of wage slaves and consumers for at least another generation. As a bonus, those pesky populist-socialist farmers would be toppled from their hardy little podiums. (Shades of my own dear German-American, dairy-farming grandfather: of a conservative bent through and through, but a devoted supporter of Norman Thomas. An eccentricity, I'd always thought, but according to Bageant not unusual.) As a further bonus, the yawning gap left by self-sufficient family farming could be filled by agribusiness.

The emptying of the countryside was no accident. It happened by design.

This passage describing how the postwar transition was managed exemplifies his pithy writing: "In one of those brilliant industrial-economic decisions so often made by corporations and governments working together, it was decided that the stuff [ammonium nitrate hitherto made for explosives] could be dumped on millions of acres of corn and other crops at a profit. After all, plants need nitrogen, right? Why not short-circuit the cumbersome process of nitrogen fixing through photosynthesis and carbon exchange? Thus was set in motion the frying of the heartland's soil, and the destruction of our waterways and estuaries through run-off, and the creation of acid rain through evaporation. In a similar move, agri-biz built a new industry called pesticides from the poison gases developed for the war. There was no use in wasting good killing power: bomb the bugs and weeds.

"And so the military-industrial complex managed to keep up, even increase, its head of steam, despite the loss of that all-time champion booger-devil, Adolf Hitler. Such serviceable Great Satans just don't come down the pike every day, and we've had to manufacture them ever since-- the Soviet Union/the Cold War, the communist Chinese, Saddam Hussein, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez-- to maintain the complex that Dwight Eisenhower so presciently feared."

Much of this has been expounded by others, but few can gather up the threads so trenchantly as this witness from the other side of the tracks. Perhaps it is also no accident that such an eye-opener about America had to be published in Australia, and that no one in our Congress has seen fit to urge their Library to acquire a copy to this day. ( )
2 vota Alogon | Aug 3, 2013 |
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Lose all your troubles, kick up some sand
And follow me, buddy, to the Promised Land
I'm here to tell you, and I wouldn't lie,
You'll wear ten-dollar shoes and eat rainbow pie.
—'The Sugar Dumpling Line', hobo song

Did you ever stand and shiver, because you was lookin' in a river . . . ?
—Folksinger Ramblin' Jack Elliott
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For my children: Timothy, Patrick, and Elizabeth
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The United States has always maintained a white underclass . . .
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Rainbow Pie is a coming-of-age memoir wrapped around a discussion of America's most taboo subject - social class. Set between 1950 and 1963, Joe Bageant uses Maw, Pap, Ony Mae, and other members of his rambunctious Scots-Irish family to chronicle the often-heartbreaking post-war journey of 22 million rural Americans into the cities, where they became the foundation of a permanent white underclass. Combining recollection, stories, accounts, remembrance, and analysis, the book offers an intimate look at what Americans lost in the massive and orchestrated post-war social and economic shift from.

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