The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker


Product Details

University of Chicago Press
Publish Date
6.1 X 9.1 X 0.5 inches | 0.9 pounds

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About the Author

Katherine J. Cramer is professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she is also director of the Morgridge Center for Public Service and an affiliate faculty member in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the LaFollette School of Public Affairs, the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, the Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education, and the Center for Community and Nonprofit Studies. She is the author of Talking about Race and Talking about Politics, both also published by the University of Chicago Press.


"Cramer spent years carefully listening to 'ordinary' people talking about politics and power, then used their words to produce an indelible portrait of the mind and heart of contemporary populism. The Politics of Resentment is the smartest, richest, and most humane work of political science I have read in a very long time."--Larry M. Bartels, Vanderbilt University
"Cramer develops a new theory and uses it to show how identity-based rural resentments animate much public opinion in Wisconsin. Governor Scott Walker's success in cutting government and weakening unions makes Cramer's study of Badger state politics especially important. This is pathbreaking work."--John Zaller, University of California, Los Angeles
"Helps answer a question that has been plaguing political commentators since last November: Why did Donald Trump win in Wisconsin? Everyone has a theory--Hillary Clinton's campaign strategies, Trump's appeal to protectionism, GOP voter suppression--and most of them have some truth. But one must also understand Wisconsin, a so-called purple state with a stark urban/rural divide, if one is to understand the national rage that swept Trump into the White House. . . . [Politics of Resentment] illuminate[s] the state's Republican shift and chart[s] a way forward for reversing it."-- (07/20/2017)
"The Politics of Resentment is an important contribution to the literature on contemporary American politics. Both methodologically and substantively, it breaks new ground."--Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare
"If you're wondering about the widening fissure between red and blue America, why politics these days have become so fraught and so emotional, Kathy Cramer is one of the best people to ask."--Jeff Guo "Washington Post "
"Cramer, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, got in her car and drove around rural Wisconsin to learn how voters there actually discuss politics when they talk to each other over coffee and in discussion groups.... These conversations--many of which she quotes verbatim--infuse The Politics of Resentment with a complex humanity that is rare in books about public opinion. The payoff is a narrative with both nuance and depth."--Lee Drutman "Washington Monthly "
"One wishes more scholars followed Cramer's lead. . . . this is a well-written and theoretically rich book. Given recent events, it provides a much-needed corrective to the more journalistic accounts of white working-class voters, ones bereft of the rigor Cramer deploys. The Politics of Resentment, to my mind, is required reading to understand rural support for Scott Walker in Wisconsin; and also what might motivate Trump supporters more generally. Cramer's book deserves all of the attention it's received thus far."--Public Opinion Quarterly