Thomas Frank (born 1965) is an American author who writes about what he calls "cultural politics". He is the founder and editor of The Baffler and the author of several books, most recently What's the Matter with Kansas?. Other writings include essays for Harper's Magazine, Le Monde diplomatique, and the Financial Times.
Frank was born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1965. He grew up in a local suburb, Mission Hills, Kansas. His father designs regional architecture, including institutional buildings and steel-frame cattle auction markets. Frank graduated from Shawnee Mission East High School. He later attended the University of Kansas. He also attended the University of Virginia and the University of Chicago, where he received a Ph.D. in history in 1994. He currently lives in Washington, DC with his wife, Wendy, and their children.
The Trap (TV Documentary Series) Frank features in "The Trap", a BBC documentary.
What's the Matter with Kansas? (2004) is a book written by American journalist and historian Thomas Frank, which explores the rise of conservative populism in the United States through the lens of his native state of Kansas, which was once a hotbed of the left-wing Populist movement of the late nineteenth century, but has become overwhelmingly conservative in recent decades. It was published in the United Kingdom as "What's The Matter With America?".
What's the Matter with Kansas? spent 18 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List.
In the book, Frank examines what he calls "The Great Backlash", which he describes as a reactionary movement against the cultural changes of the 1960s and 1970s. According to his analysis, the political discourse of recent decades has dramatically shifted from the class animus of traditional leftism to one in which "explosive" cultural issues, such as abortion and gay marriage, are used to redirect anger towards "liberal elites".
Against this backdrop,...