Magazine April 19, 2021, Issue

Recovering Our Roots

A view of Emmett, Idaho (Jim Urquhart/Reuters)
Uprooted: Recovering the Legacy of the Places We’ve Left Behind, by Grace Olmstead (Sentinel, 272 pp., $27)

Grace Olmstead’s new book ends where it began: in a graveyard. “I stand here with the dead because I believe they matter,” she writes. “This land matters. And all the roots that sink down deep into this ground, lending strength and life to this soil, will matter long after any of us are gone.”

That land lies in the tiny farm town of Emmett, Idaho, where Olmstead grew up. Like many of her peers, Olmstead left her town to pursue opportunity in a prosperous coastal city. As a journalist at The American Conservative, she be­came known for her commitment to localism

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Serena Sigillito is the editor of Public Discourse, the journal of the Witherspoon Institute. She recently completed a Robert Novak Journalism fellowship focusing on contemporary American women’s experiences of work and motherhood. You can follow her work at

In This Issue

I. What Made California Great

II. California's Self-Destruction

III. Can California Be Saved?

Books, Arts & Manners


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