“It was pouring out when R.T. Robeson jumped on the bus that would carry him from downtown Orlando to the building in an older, somewhat less fashionable section of the city. He had never visited the building before, but a Miss Gardenia was expecting him …”
So begins “Bloody Rabbit,” a book that explores the fiery hot anger that erupts following an economic crash, and the subsequent rise in nationalism as more and more people lose their jobs. The book sounds like a harbinger of the Trump Era that started in 2016. And yet this book by author Michael W. Freeman was written early in 2013, long before Donald Trump had even become a presidential candidate, let alone one taken seriously by the pundits.
In many ways, though, “Bloody Rabbit” offers a glimpse into the roots of Trump’s historic victory at the polls — and at the blue collar workers who watched their jobs, livelihood, and sense of optimism get shattered by the lingering impact of the Great Recession, and who ended up looking for someone to listen to and champion them.
It starts in a world familiar to us all: the struggle to cope during an economic downturn. The book slow builds to an even more terrifying situation: the persecution of those who become an angry society’s scapegoats.
Set in the author’s home city of Orlando and loosely based on the author’s own experiences after being downsized in 2011 and his slow climb back up the economic ladder, “Bloody Rabbit” is a tense, haunting and sometimes grotesquely funny look at how quickly social norms crumble when times get tough. Continue reading