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Rural Matters

Feb 15, 2021

Michelle chats with author Ross Benes about his new book, Rural Rebellion: How Nebraska Became a Republican Stronghold. Benes notes the influences of his hometown of Brainard, Nebraska, on his current life in New York City. Benes describes the misconceptions of people in New York City about his rural upbringing, where he found a strong support of community organizations and the value of neighbors. Benes says that he appreciates the peace of his childhood in retrospect.

Benes talks about how his view of immigration changed once he encountered immigrants in person. Benes describes how wedge issues like abortion and immigration and lack of flexibility in party policies contributed to Nebraska becoming Republican. Benes encourages people to experience the other side of the urban-rural divide. This episode is sponsored by the University Press of Kansas. Visit them at