Out of Iowa

An inside look at the real American heartland.
Out of Iowa

On either side of old Highway 218 in far southeastern Iowa, rows of corn are broken to stubble and furrows are filled with ice. It's late December, just days to the caucuses, and the wind knifes across the prairie, so bitter cold that even red-tailed hawks, feathers fluffed for warmth, hunker atop speed limit signs. Granted, much of what you see here is what you'd expect: each town with its water tower and circumscribed cemetery, each small farm with its Harvestore silos and propane tanks huddled under leaf-bare oaks. These are the cliches of the Midwest and the Great Plains—what folks on the coasts call "the heartland" when they're feeling generous, "flyover country" when they're not—and like all cliches, there's some truth to them.

Book published by Duke University Press