The View from Flyover Country: Dispatches from the Forgotten America

St. Louis journalist Sarah Kendzior rose to fame for her pieces documenting inequality in the U.S. An academic, Midwesterner and firebrand, Kendzior crafts work that looks unflinchingly at what ails the country. The View from Flyover Country collects pieces she wrote between 2013 and 2017, connecting injustices throughout the modern world and calling on society to do better.

While Kendzior's academic work focuses on the politics of Central Asia, her discussion of American domestic and foreign policy is fluent and dynamic. A transplant to St. Louis, she is unapologetic about how necessary perspectives from places like her adopted hometown are. "The View from Flyover Country" is not just a clever title, but a call for those outside the geographic center of the United States to pay attention to the needs, struggles and hopes of those living inside it.

While the topics of these short essays vary considerably, they share Kendzior's righteous anger at the obvious injustice she sees around her (and in her own life, though she is quick to note her accomplishments and advantages). While that means there isn't a grand argument to The View from Flyover Country, her writing is engaging enough that most people won't mind the slightly scattershot approach. If anything, being reminded of how pervasive inequality is in the U.S. will be enough to galvanize readers to decide how to make things better for themselves and others. That, ultimately, is what's so great about The View from Flyover Country: you can't read it without wanting to break the cycles and injustices it describes. --Noah Cruickshank, adult engagement manager, the Field Museum, Chicago, Ill.

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