Books of political outrage have a short shelf life because whatever outrage the author is enraged about is quickly eclipsed by the next outrage. Thomas Frank was outraged by the re-election of George W. Bush in 2004. What saves this book from being another here-and-gone current events polemic is that Frank tries to understand how the mid-west went from being the radical base of left-wing candidates like Eugene V. Debs and William Jennings Bryant to being solidly Republican.
Like many Democrats Frank believes that big-business Republicans have hoodwinked farmers and working-class citizens into voting against their own self-interest with empty rhetoric about religion and patriotism. Of course wealthy Democrats are in theory also voting against their self-interest when they vote for increased taxes on themselves to fund social programs for the poor, but that is a entirely different matter.