The Shame of Rural America: The Heartlands Interview with Robert Wuthnow Concludes, 3 of 3

In the last part of my interview with Princeton sociologist, Robert Wuthnow, we talked about rural churches.  In this segment we pull back the lens and look at shame, among other things… You say in the book, The Left Behind: Decline and Rage in Rural America, that part of your effort is to explain to other […]

What About the Methodists?: Robert Wuthnow talks churches, 2 of 3

In the first part of my interview with Princeton’s Robert Wuthnow, one of America’s premier sociologists, we talked about the current face of the Heartland. Wuthnow’s book, The Left Behind: Decline and Rage in Rural America, talks about the changing dynamics of many rural institutions, including churches.  I enlisted him to help me think about churches […]

Still Kinda In Kansas: Talking Politics with Robert Wuthnow, Part 1 of 3

Robert Wuthnow is that rare academic who still keeps a foot in the heartlands.  Wuthnow is a respected Professor of Social Sciences at Princeton University but he’s as apt to talk to you about his native Kansas as he is the cultural capitals of DC and New York. I caught up with Wuthnow a few […]

Why You Need to Know This Bitter Southerner: Heartlands Interviews Chuck Reece, Part 3 of 3

The Heartlands Interview with Chuck Reese begins here. Chuck’s train of thought is interrupted by the sound of a dish being set carefully on a white wicker table gracing a wide screened porch. (I’m imagining.)  CR: Oh my goodness, what is that, sweetheart? Stacy [Chuck’s wife]: Blueberry muffin.  CR: My wife just brought me a […]

Why You Need to Know This Bitter Southerner: Heartlands Interviews Chuck Reece, Part 2 of 3

The Heartlands Interview with Chuck Reece begins here. Chuck Reece can’t help but share some of his favorite stories of finding new writers for The Bitter Southerner.  There was the piece Cy Brown, a University of Georgia student, pitched him about A Carolina Dog. “I don’t know about you growing up in Virginia, but in […]

Why You Need to Know This Bitter Southerner: Heartlands Interviews Chuck Reece, Part 1 of 3

I was standing in a cemetery near Onancock, sweating in the mid-July heat, when Chuck Reece asked me how I got from radio journalism into ministry.  I was supposed to be interviewing him, but Chuck Reece, even over the phone, is a master at sniffing out stories and he trained his curiosity on me before […]

Musicals, Monuments, and Historical Optimism: The Ed Ayers Interview concludes

Is there reason, as a historian, to be an optimist?  Edward Ayers, among other things the co-host of the BackStory podcast and radio program, narrates a troubled chapter of American history in his latest book, The Thin Light of Freedom: The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America.  In the first two segments […]