Hidden America

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Jeanne Marie Laskas tells stories of coal miners, migrant laborers, ranchers, air traffic controllers, landfill operators, long-distance truckers, and even cheerleaders. Her book Hidden America: From Coal Miners to Cowboys, an Extraordinary Exploration of the Unseen People Who Make This Country Work is a tour of the often overlooked people who are crucial to keeping the country running.


Jeanne Marie Laskas
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Comments [3]

MichaelB from Morningside Heights

This is the true blind spot of the liberal elite. The people they champion are merely abstraction to them; those people are invisible to the folks on the coasts. They don't have to get their hands and minds "dirty" with the details of the lives of the people who do the "real" work in our society.

I've often pointed out to highly-paid people who do work such as public relations, events planning, people in the fashion industry, etc, that the world could get along very well without their services for quite a while, but let us collectively try to survive if our plumbing backs up, or the lights go out.

What did Oscar Wilde say? We know the price of everything, but the value of nothing. (There's a book by that title that discusses that general topic.)

Sep. 18 2012 12:52 PM
Amy from Manhattan

This segment seems to have something in common w/August 30's "On Being" (, in which Krista Tippett interviewed Mike Rose about his book "The Mind at Work: Valuing the Intelligence of the American Worker," on the intelligence & knowledge needed to do jobs that often aren't valued highly in our society. Is Ms. Laskas familiar w/Mr. Rose's book?

Sep. 18 2012 12:51 PM
KDan from NYC

Sterling work on the same topic has been done by Mike Rowe on his cable show "Dirty Jobs." I heartily recommend that people look it up on Netflix or streaming video.

Sep. 18 2012 12:42 PM

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