Midwest Futures

Backorder (temporarily out of stock)
Product Details
$26.00  $24.18
Belt Publishing
Publish Date
5.3 X 7.4 X 0.8 inches | 0.6 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate
About the Author
A former substitute teacher, shelter worker, and home health aide, Phil Christman currently lectures in the English department at University of Michigan. His work has appeared in The Hedgehog Review, Commonweal, The Christian Century, The Outline, and other places. He holds an MFA from the University of South Carolina-Columbia. He is the editor of the Michigan Review of Prisoner Creative Writing, a journal sponsored by the University of Michigan's Prison Creative Arts Project. He lives in Ann Arbor, MI.
A Commonweal notable book of 2020.
"Christman's text is pointed and often very funny as he ponders a subject that has been hiding in plain sight. ... Though much of the tone is dark and acerbic, the author finds glimmers of hope in the region as "a moral frontier," where Americans might best face the considerable challenges of capitalism and climate change. A provocative analysis. You'll never think of Peoria in the same way again." --Kirkus Reviews
"Midwest Futures is a remarkably rich and clear-eyed meditation on the region. While the Midwest has long been bound up with the myth of national destiny, Christman reminds us that its history was neither fated nor inevitable, but chosen by human actors. What emerges is a place far more protean and variable than the caricatures that so often dominate the popular imagination. In thinking deeply and imaginatively about the region's history--its injustices and inequities, its social experiments and utopian visions--Christman uncovers a multiverse of possible futures, asking us to consider what might have been and what still may be." --Meghan O'Gieblyn, author of Interior States
"Brisk and thought-provoking. ... Reading Christman's book is like a road trip through time and sentiment and culture of the Midwest." --Martha Stuit, Pulp: Arts Around Ann Arbor
"A combination of history, memoir, reportage, and lit-crit that taught me a lot about a region I've reported on....Check it out." --James Fallows, The Atlantic
"This is a fantastic book by one of the most underappreciated writers of my generation on a topic that isn't easy to write about. It's such a joy that I zipped through it in a single day." --Scott Beauchamp, The Washington Examiner
"Christman excels at pointing out the doublethink powering American endeavors and slathering deodorant on its collective soul."--Dan Kelly, Third Coast Review
"As the country stumbles through ever-growing crises, Christman's book taps into a broader conversation about the future of the country--of how it's shaped and who is shaping it--and in doing so, offers an extraordinarily insightful, potential path forward for the Midwest."--José Pablo Fernández García, Midstory
"Equal parts lyrical journalism, historical reckoning, and vision statement, Midwest Futures is slight in size yet sprawling in scope. Writing from the inside out, Christman documents a people accustomed to looking up at wide-screen horizons, then down in modesty at their shuffling feet. Confessing the region's contradictory nature early and often--"Which is it: middle, or western?" he writes--allows Christman to till and tend the heartland on behalf of a people who often abdicate their right to define themselves. ... Drawing from a reservoir of hope, Christman stakes claim to his corner of a growing New Midwestern canon, alongside the likes of Sarah Smarsh's Heartland and Hanif Abdurraqib's poetry as documentary."--Aarik Danielsen, Rain Taxi Review of Books
"Christman invites readers and others into a 'we' that is responsible for our future. Rather than blame others and distance himself from accountability, he yokes himself to a shared responsibility for the future. In this way, he rejects the worst instincts of polarized discourse that simply blames the other side....In the end, what Christman unfolds here is the most demanding responsibility for the future that we can possibly imagine."--Noah Toly, Hedgehog Review
"To write about the Midwest is to risk joining a succession of truisms that tread and retread the same ground. In 'Midwest Futures, ' Christman sidesteps this fate. Rather than try to pin the region to a single argument or narrative, he makes a mosaic out of its multiplicity."--Megan Marz, Washington Post