Justin Gest finished writing this book just as Donald J. Trump wrapped up the GOP nomination for president and during the very same month that the British voted to leave the European Union. An increasingly alienated and radicalized white working-class population was at the heart of both earthquakes, and it is this mentality that Gest explores in a book that seeks to explain how, from the point of view of so many blue-collar whites, both “Middle Britain” and “Middle America” drifted toward social and economic marginality.

Gest, who teaches at George Mason’s School of Policy and Government, is an American-born political scientist with a strong sociological bent. The heart of the book consists of interviews with and surveys of working-class residents in contemporary Youngstown, Ohio, and the East London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. He argues that in both of these...

You do not currently have access to this content.