Sunday, March 17, 2024

"Exurbia Now"

New from Melville House: Exurbia Now: The Battleground of American Democracy by David Masciotra.

About the book, from the publisher:

The suburbs have become too liberal and diverse for many white American conservatives, so “exurbia”—areas outside the cities and their suburbs—are becoming the staging ground for the radical right extremist insurgency...

Beyond a fanatical devotion to former president Donald Trump, one of the curious things that united the rank and file of the January 6 insurrectionist mob was that many of them were residents of one of America’s fastest growing residential areas: Exurbia.

Home to the likes of Georgia’s Marjorie Taylor Greene, Ohio’s Jim Jordan, big box retailers, chain restaurants, monster trucks, and megachurches, exurbia is becoming America’s greatest political battleground, more important to American politics than urban or rural America.

In this brilliant work of political and cultural inquiry, veteran political journalist David Masciotra provides a definitive account of what exurbia is, how it came to be, and how it's transforming American life. Zooming in outside the greater metropolitan area of Chicago—where Masciotra grew up—he shows how exurbia has become a safe space to fly the MAGA flag and romanticize the mores of the pre-civil rights, pre-feminist, pre-gay rights 1950s.

But, as Masciotra also shows, reactionary white flight is not the whole story of small-town America. The story often lost is the power and persistence of small-town liberals—people who believe in equality, celebrate diversity, and enroll in movements for justice. Exurbia, as it turns out, is ground zero for the fight over a democracy mightily beleaguered, yet still full of promise, and still worth fighting for.

Combining interviews, research, and anecdote—and anchored in personal experience—Exurbia Now delivers a powerful ballad on the state of small-town America, and provides a sense of the fight for democracy, on the ground, in the heartland.
Visit David Masciotra's website.

--Marshal Zeringue