In 1896, newspaper editor William Allen White penned an editorial decrying the rise of populism in Kansas. Titled “What’s the Matter with Kansas,” White warned voters from electing William Jennings Bryant to the presidency due his populist platform.

In 2020, "Boston Globe" columnist Alex Beam revived White’s call in asking, “What’s the matter with Newton?”

During the 2020 Massachusetts Democratic Primary, 16 percent of Newton residents voted for Sen. Bernie Sanders, a figure who Beam said adamantly opposes nearly everything about the residents of Newton. On Thursday, he joined Boston Public Radio to share his thoughts on what motivated them to vote for Sanders.

Beam is latest book is “The Feud: Vladimir Nabakov, Edmund Wilson and the End of a Beautiful Friendship.”