America

Macmillan Publishers

In his new book, Last Best Hope, award-winning author and staff writer at The Atlantic George Packer explores the four narratives that now dominate American life and describe our divides: Free America, which imagines a nation of separate individuals and serves the interests of corporations and the wealthy; Smart America, the world view of Silicon Valley and the professional elite; Real America, the white Christian nationalism of the heartland; and Just America, which sees citizens as members of identity groups that inflict or suffer oppression. 

Photo courtesy of Little, Brown and Co.

On Monday’s Access Utah, beloved folk singer Dar Williams joins us to talk about her latest book, described as “an impassioned account of the fall and rise of the small American towns she cherishes.”

Dubbed by the New Yorker as "one of America's very best singer-songwriters," Dar Williams has made her career not in stadiums, but touring America's small towns. She has played their venues, composed in their coffee shops, and drunk in their bars. She has seen these communities struggle, but also seen them thrive in the face of postindustrial identity crises.

How did we get here?

In this sweeping, eloquent history of America, Kurt Andersen shows that what’s happening in our country today—this post-factual, “fake news” moment we’re all living through—is not something new, but rather the ultimate expression of our national character. America was founded by wishful dreamers, magical thinkers, and true believers, by hucksters and their suckers. Fantasy is deeply embedded in our DNA.

NPR.org

Last week Donald Trump released his proposed budget plan for 2018. According to the budget, the U.S Department of Agriculture would take one of the biggest cuts with a decrease of $4.7 billion in funding.