Magazine February 8, 2021, Issue

Kevin Williamson’s Prescient Big White Ghetto

A vacant lot on Main Street in Wheeling, W. Va., March 6, 2012 (Jason Cohn/Reuters)
Big White Ghetto: Dead Broke, Stone-Cold Stupid, and High on Rage in the Dank Woolly Wilds of the ‘Real America,’ by Kevin D. Williamson (Regnery, 256 pp., $28.99)

‘Big White Ghetto” is, in­cidentally, what I thought the first time I met Kevin Williamson, in his baggy jeans and black T-shirt, chain wallet, wireframe beard, and shaved-bald pate.

It’s also the title of Williamson’s new book, and you should go read it.

This was in Philadelphia, that first meeting, at a multiday retreat for young journalists (I was young, he was a journalist), and over the course of a lecture and a lunch I came away with a fine first impression of the man.

The second time I met Williamson was at the old offices of National Review on Lexington Avenue — as I

This article appears as “Notes on an Underclass” in the February 8, 2021, print edition of National Review.

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In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners



C’mon, Zingerola!

Before we roll over and submit, we need to figure out whether we’re dealing with purposeful malevolence or good ol’-fashioned human clusterbuggery.


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