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Lead book review

Dolly Parton represents all that’s best about America

Dolly Parton is the living embodiment of America’s best values, says Philip Hensher

16 January 2021

9:00 AM

16 January 2021

9:00 AM

She Come By It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs Sarah Smarsh

Pushkin Press, pp.208, 9.99

After the storming of Congress last week, numerous American commentators looked at the Proud Boys, the QAnon Shaman and Trump himself and said, in so many words: ‘This is not who we are.’ Undoubtedly true. It raises, however, an interesting supplementary question: who, in fact, are you?

Looking through the ranks of those who might represent the best values of America, we arrive quite quickly at Dolly Parton.

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