A Visitor's Guide to Democracy in Middle America

Explore The Republican River!

The Republican River flows through Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska

The Republican River

"What's the matter with Kansas? Nothing under the shining sun!"

-- William Allen White, Emporia Gazette, 1896.

Every  two years, voters in blue states join with the mainstream media and  wonder what in the world is wrong with all those red-state, GOP  loyalists?

To many coastal Americans  accustomed to vacationing in exotic locales, driving across red-state  America is more daunting than climbing an Alp or ballooning across the  Masai Mara. Put a New Yorker or a Californian in a Prius in the middle  of the country, and the takeaway on places like Kansas and Nebraska is  simple: It's really big and nobody's home. But if you really want  to understand red-state voters, you have to find the Republican River,  which rises in Colorado then follows the Nebraska-Kansas border until it  reaches Fort Riley, Kansas, near Kansas City. Those from blue electoral  precincts know nothing at all about Republicans, let alone the  Republican River — except that it flows through the mysterious heart of  the country. In the middle of America, the Republican River is the main  stream. 

Beyond  the caricatures and  stereotypes created in the national media, democracy in the middle of  America is something Alexis deTocqueville would have quickly recognized.  And if you've never been there but wonder why Midwesterners vote the  way they do, this book is a perfect visitor's guide for those who decide  to head for the unknown, agrarian center of the country.

Greg Gutfeld, Fox News co-host of The Five, interviews Denis Boyles, author of The Republican River. Listen here.

Praise for Denis Boyles and Superior Nebraska: "A  conversational, amusing, instructive look at a landscape too many  Americans merely fly over or—if they think of it at all—misunderstand." —  Kirkus Reviews

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Do you live along the Republican River?

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All along the river...

Republican River: Birger Sandzén's woodcut.

Republican River: Birger Sandzén's woodcut.

Topeka, Kansas: State senate meets in 1905 to make new education legislation.

          Cuba, Kansas: City Council fixes the sidewalk. © Jim Richardson