Review: Joe Bageant’s “Rainbow Pie: A Redneck Memoir”

by writereaderly

joe bageant rainbow pieThis was doing laps of the farm, with successive rave reviews over the dinner table; I was glad when it was my turn for a read, as I’d heard Bageant interviewed on 2SER’s now defunct show Final Draft, and been highly impressed by his eloquence and analysis. In brief: Bageant grew up Southern white trash in Virginia, got hisself a education, and made a living (among other things) as a malcontent political journalist with no mote in his eye about “Amurca”’s glory. This is his memoir of growing up hard scrabble, heavily dosed with explications of America’s military, agricultural and educational policies that have maintained the existence of a vast, largely ignored, white American underclass. Comprehensive politics, fascinating memoir sections – of which I wanted more, more, more – and the odd bit of life philosophy. The political farmer in me was self-righteously glad to have my ideas reinforced, but I wanted to learn more poor-people history and skills than the vindication of the underclass’s existence. A good book all up, though, and I recommend it.

Where it came from: CP’s Bookshelf
Time and manner of reading:
Bed, armchair and cinema reads
Where it went: Home
Reminds me of/that: Underpins Dorothy Allison’s work, e.g. Trash
Who I’d recommend it to: Those after some meaty, politically incisive, angry memoir
Also reading: Rabbit #4; The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon; Being Alive edited by Neil Astley; The Seven Sisters of the Pleiades by Munya Andrews