Iowans Respond to Stephen Bloom

The University of Iowa professor's piece reflecting on 20 years in the Hawkeye state touched off a firestorm of criticism -- and praise.

Stephen G. Bloom's piece "Observations on 20 Years of Iowa Life" has elicited a huge array of online responses, from threats against the professor to letters of praise. Obviously, no one piece can encompass how life is lived by all the people of a state of more than three million, nor all the experiences one can have in such a state -- from West Liberty, Iowa's first majority-Latino town, to the lofts, shops and restaurants of the sophisticated neighborhoods of downtown Des Moines (and elsewhere, as detailed in this Atlantic crowd-sourced guide to the state), to the industrial decline of Keokuk (which I saw first-hand while traveling with John Edwards in 2007), to the beauty of driving I-80 on a summer night, when the twinkling of fireflies in the fields act as a striking counterpart to the stars that wheel above.

Atlantic social media editor Jared Keller has compiled excerpts from the conversation sparked by Bloom's piece, below:

Presented by

Garance Franke-Ruta is a former senior editor covering national politics at The Atlantic.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open For 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in Politics

Just In