In retrospect, Nadine Hubbs’s keynote address for the 2017 IASPM-US annual meeting seems almost prescient. Its title, “Country Music in Dangerous Times,” reflected the sense of crisis progressives felt in the wake of Donald Trump’s election four months earlier, and its central concerns presaged the fatal racist violence that would erupt at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville six months later. In response to the intensifying racial and class polarization in American life at that moment, Hubbs issued an urgent call to recuperate the legacy of post-Civil Rights working-class progressivism by listening more closely to country music’s anti-bourgeois dissenters.

The address builds on one of...

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