URBAN vs. RURAL….Over at the Carpetbagger, substitute blogger Ed Stephan has a couple of good posts up ? and both come with handy charts! The first discusses the “era of incarceration” that started in the United States around 1975 and has now reached a point where one out of 200 people is in prison. The second tackles one of my favorite subjects, the proposition that the most useful lens for looking at American politics isn’t red/blue or liberal/conservative, but urban/rural. Read ’em both.

And speaking of urban vs. rural, the second post reminds me of a question that popped into my head a couple of weeks ago: How many U.S. presidents have been born and raised in a big city? By “big” I mean a city that was in the top ten or twenty during the period in question, and by “city” I mean a city, not suburbs or outskirts.

As near as I can tell without diving really deeply into this, the only urban president we’ve had was Theodore Roosevelt. I wonder why we haven’t had more, especially given the explosion of urban growth in the 20th century?

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