Strangers in Their Own Land

  • by Arlie Russell Hochschild
  • Narrated by Suzanne Toren
  • 11 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In Strangers in Their Own Land, the renowned sociologist Arlie Hochschild embarks on a thought-provoking journey from her liberal hometown of Berkeley, California, deep into Louisiana bayou country - a stronghold of the conservative right. As she gets to know people who strongly oppose many of the ideas she famously champions, Hochschild nevertheless finds common ground and quickly warms to the people she meets, among them a Tea Party activist whose town has been swallowed by a sinkhole caused by a drilling accident - people whose concerns are actually ones that all Americans share: the desire for community, the embrace of family, and hopes for their children.
Strangers in Their Own Land goes beyond the commonplace liberal idea that these are people who have been duped into voting against their own interests. Instead Hochschild finds lives ripped apart by stagnant wages, a loss of home, an elusive American dream - and political choices and views that make sense in the context of their lives. Hochschild draws on her expert knowledge of the sociology of emotion to help us understand what it feels like to live in "red" America. Along the way she finds answers to one of the crucial questions of contemporary American politics: Why do the people who would seem to benefit most from "liberal" government intervention abhor the very idea?
Cover image © Richard Misrach, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York and Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Must read for political moderates

What made the experience of listening to Strangers in Their Own Land the most enjoyable?

Complex issues are easy to conceptualize. The "Deep Stories" of the politically right and left were helpful in understanding and remembering the concepts of the great paradox and the empathy wall in the book.


What other book might you compare Strangers in Their Own Land to and why?

Hillbilly Elegy


What about Suzanne Toren’s performance did you like?

voice is easy to listen to and it was like listening to the author.


If you could give Strangers in Their Own Land a new subtitle, what would it be?

Reduce political partisanism


Any additional comments?

At the end of the book she forgets the ideas of staying objective with the empathy wall and provides only the politically left view in her data.

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- Terry

Amazing and eye-opening

Absolutely amazing, thought-provoking, and eye-opening. I couldn't recommend it more, especially to coastal liberals trying to wrap their minds around the results of the 2016 election.
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- Kate

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-20-2016
  • Publisher: Audible Studios