Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Remaking the HeartlandMiddle America since the 1950s$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Robert Wuthnow

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691146119

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691146119.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 23 July 2021

Here in the Middle

Here in the Middle

(p.7) One Here in the Middle
Remaking the Heartland

Robert Wuthnow

Princeton University Press

This chapter reflects on the idea of an American heartland now beset with problems and how it intertwines with nostalgic visions of a better past. Both perceptions play well to the insiders who live in declining rural communities and to audiences who have long since pursued more glamorous lifestyles elsewhere. The chapter considers the case of Smith County, situated at the exact geographic middle of the United States: the heart of America's heartland. That America's heartland is a thing of the past is a long-standing refrain in treatments of the region. The reigning motif is nostalgia for a pastoral village-based America. The other common perspective on middle America sees the region as a social problem. The chapter argues that neither nostalgia nor an emphasis on social problems adequately captures the complexity of the social transformations that took place in America's heartland.

Keywords:   heartland, rural communities, Smith County, nostalgia, middle America, social problems, social transformations

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.