Still, there is some value in seeing the effects upon any particular individual of having previously lived by today's "blue" standards in what is today known as a red state. Blue and red were not always concepts by which political ideologies and beliefs were expressed. In fact, several essays note that it wasn't all that long ago that being "red" stood for something wholly antithetical to the beliefs of those who take pride in that color today.
Another editorial or structure choice annoyed me. The brief biographies of the contributors appear alphabetically at the end of the book. Given the number of essays and the book's regional breakdown, I would have much preferred having a biography immediately follow each essay. Often while reading or contemplating points made in an essay, I wanted to know what experiences or background helped form the writer's views and thoughts. Forcing the reader to an alphabetical collection at the end of the book tends toward greater distraction and interruption.
These failings, undoubtedly idiosyncratic, are insignificant in light of the work as a whole. Having former but not current residents of red states as essayists does not prevent readers from considering that in assessing a particular essay. If it at times requires jumping to the back of the book in the midst of reading an essay, so be it. Neither criticism undercuts where Living Blue in the Red States succeeds - causing even dyed-in-the-wool liberals like myself to pause, think and evaluate what it means to be a liberal and, more important, live like one.