Why Rural America Is Thriving, with Author Elizabeth Currid-Halkett

The story often told is that rural America is in decline, and that rural Americans are resentful of their suburban and urban counterparts.

But Elizabeth Currid-Halkett argues in her new book The Overlooked AmericansThe Resilience of Our Rural Towns and What It Means For Our Country that rural Americans and rural America are in many ways actually thriving. Currid-Halkett joins Institute director of public policy Liam Julian for an enlightening discussion.


About the Speaker

Elizabeth Currid-Halkett holds the James Irvine Chair in Urban and Regional Planning and is professor of public policy at the Price School at the University of Southern California. In 2022, she was appointed the Kluge Chair in Modern Culture at the Library of Congress. In 2023, Currid-Halkett received a Guggenheim Fellowship.

In addition to The Overlooked Americans, Currid-Halkett is the author of The Warhol Economy: How Fashion, Art and Music Drive New York City (Princeton University Press 2007); Starstruck: The Business of Celebrity (Faber & Faber/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010); and The Sum of Small Things: A Theory of the Aspirational Class (Princeton University Press, 2017), which was named one of the best books of the year by the Economist. Her work has been featured in the New York TimesWall Street Journal, NPR, Salon, the Economist, the New Yorker, and the Times Literary Supplement, among others.

Liam Julian | Moderator

Liam Julian is director of public policy for the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute for American Democracy. He was previously managing editor of Policy Review magazine in Washington, D.C. His writing and commentary on public policy topics has appeared in a variety of publications such as The Washington Post, The Atlantic, City Journal, and National Review and on programs such as NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Mr. Julian also spent time working with the College Board, where he oversaw development of Advanced Placement curricula, including the redesign of the AP U.S. Government and Politics course. From 2006 to 2013, he was a Hoover Institution research fellow at Stanford University.