Jeff Biggers, a former staffer for Sen. George McGovern, is an award-winning author of books on coal, Appalachia, and Mexico's Sierra Madre region. At the core of his latest effort, State Out of the Union, is a genuinely interesting investigation into the stark—sometimes stark, raving mad—nativism that has driven Arizona politics recently. Unfortunately, as J.D. Tuccille reports, this account is buried under a pile of grievances and political talking points, so the incomplete and tantalizing outlines of that could-have-been book are discernible only after you've dug through the debris.
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