Big White Ghetto
Dead Broke, Stone-Cold Stupid, and High on Rage in the Dank Woolly Wilds of the "Real America"
"You can't truly understand the country you're living in without reading Williamson." —Rich Lowry, National Review
"His observations on American culture, history, and politics capture the moment we're in—and where we are going." —Dana Perino, Fox News
An Appalachian economy that uses cases of Pepsi as money. Life in a homeless camp in Austin. A young woman whose résumé reads, “Topless Chick, Uncredited.”
Remorselessly unsentimental, Kevin D. Williamson is a chronicler of American underclass dysfunction unlike any other. From the hollows of Eastern Kentucky to the porn business in Las Vegas, from the casinos of Atlantic City to the heroin rehabs of New Orleans, he depicts an often brutal reality that does not fit nicely into any political narrative or comfort any partisan.
Coming from the world he writes about, Williamson understands it in a way that most commentators on American politics and culture simply can’t. In these sometimes savage and often hilarious essays, he takes readers on a wild tour of the wreckage of the American republic—the “white minstrel show” of right-wing grievance politics, progressive politicians addicted to gambling revenue, the culture of passive victimhood, and the reality of permanent poverty.
Unsparing yet never unsympathetic, Big White Ghetto provides essential insight into an enormous but forgotten segment of American society.
Published: November, 2020
“No commentator on America’s current discontents matches Kevin Williamson’s written pyrotechnics, which feature indignation laced with wit and information delivered with moral urgency. He writes often about the problem of addiction but is himself a cause of a wholesome addiction. I am among the many readers who are Williamson addicts.”
—GEORGE F. WILL, Washington Post
“When Kevin Williamson posts a piece, I shush the room so I can concentrate on every word. His observations on American culture, history, and politics capture the moment we’re in—and where we are going.”
—DANA PERINO, Fox News
“Kevin Williamson may be one of the most difficult writers in America to categorize. He’s an unapologetic defender of some unfashionable orthodoxies and a blistering critic of fashionable pieties—across the ideological spectrum. This collection is Williamson in full: Veering between laugh-out-loud funny and soberingly, even dismayingly, insightful, he brings an unsparing eye for the truth as he finds it. As difficult as Kevin is to label, he’s even harder to ignore, as anyone lucky enough to pick up this book will soon discover.”
—JONAH GOLDBERG, The Dispatch
“This book is classic Kevin Williamson—wildly entertaining, unsparing, brimming with insight, eloquent, and, above all, fearless. You can’t truly understand the country you’re living in without reading Williamson on the white working class that he himself came from and that he vividly describes without regard to any piety, right or left.”
—RICH LOWRY, National Review