Essay about Broken Heartland By Osha Gray Davidson

1142 Words Dec 2nd, 2015 5 Pages
In Broken Heartland, Osha Gray Davidson argues the “farm crisis” and the pain it brought to communities in Iowa was only part of a longer decline of rural America brought about by failed governmental policy and the rise of industrial agriculture, which is turning once prosperous small towns into what he terms as “rural ghettos.” He argues that without a substantial course correction rural America will continue to decline and the residents of these rural ghettos, “bitter, desperate, and cut off from America’s cities” will increasingly turn to hate groups. Though Davidson writes as a journalist not as trained historian, Broken Heartland is an important historical work shining a light on growing problems in rural communities and the economic and political trends towards industrial agriculture, which caused them. However its predictions of the continual growth of poverty in rural America is not supported in the modern statistics of Iowa, the state he used as his microcosm, and its depiction of the growth of hate groups in Davidson’s work lacks much needed historical background, which erroneously implies the Midwestern far-right hate movements of the 1980s to be unique in the history of the Midwest rather than a relation to previous movements.
In the 1996 Coda, Davidson describes the post farm crisis rebound of some rural communities as “bright spots amid the general gloom.” He describes a slight decline in rural poverty from the height of the farm crisis, as being supplanted…

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