#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER, NAMED BY THE TIMES AS ONE OF 6 BOOKS TO HELP UNDERSTAND TRUMP'S WIN AND SOON TO BE A MAJOR-MOTION PICTURE DIRECTED BY RON HOWARD
You will not read a more important book about America this year.--The Economist
A riveting book.--The Wall Street Journal
Essential reading.--David Brooks, New York Times
From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a powerful account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America's white working class
Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis--that of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.
The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.'s grandparents were "dirt poor and in love," and moved north from Kentucky's Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving generational upward mobility.
But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that this is only the short, superficial version. Vance's grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother, struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, and were never able to fully escape the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. Vance piercingly shows how he himself still carries around the demons of their chaotic family history.
A deeply moving memoir with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.
Part memoir, part historical and social analysis, J. D. Vance's Hillbilly Elegy is a fascinating consideration of class, culture, and the American dream.Vance's grandparents were "dirt poor and in love." They got married and moved north from Kentucky to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. Their grandchild (the author) graduated from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving upward mobility for their family. But Vance cautions that is only the short version. The slightly longer version is that his grandparents, aunt, uncle, and mother struggled to varying degrees with the demands of their new middle class life and they, and Vance himself, still carry around the demons of their chaotic family history. Delving into his own personal story and drawing on a wide array of sociological studies, Vance takes us deep into working class life in the Appalachian region. This demographic of our country has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, and Vance provides a searching and clear-eyed attempt to understand when and how "hillbillies" lost faith in any hope of upward mobility, and in opportunities to come. At times funny, disturbing, and deeply moving, this is a family history that is also a troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large portion of this country.Freshman Common Read: University of Wisconsin, Middle Tennessee State University, Flager University, Miami University (Ohio), University of Denver, Augustana College, Fairmount State University, University of Notre Dame
The top 1 percent of Americans control some 40 percent of the nation's wealth. But as Joseph E. Stiglitz explains in this best-selling critique of the economic status quo, this level of inequality is not inevitable. Rather, in recent years well-heeled interests have compounded their wealth by stifling true, dynamic capitalism and making America no longer the land of opportunity that it once was. They have made America the most unequal advanced industrial country while crippling growth, distorting key policy debates, and fomenting a divided society. Stiglitz not only shows how and why America's inequality is bad for our economy but also exposes the effects of inequality on our democracy and on our system of justice while examining how monetary policy, budgetary policy, and globalization have contributed to its growth. With characteristic insight, he diagnoses our weakened state while offering a vision for a more just and prosperous future.
In recent years, the young, educated, and affluent have surged back into cities, reversing decades of suburban flight and urban decline. And yet all is not well, Richard Florida argues in The New Urban Crisis. Florida, one of the first scholars to anticipate this back-to-the-city movement in his groundbreaking The Rise of the Creative Class, demonstrates how the same forces that power the growth of the world's superstar cities also generate their vexing challenges: gentrification, unaffordability, segregation, and inequality. Meanwhile, many more cities still stagnate, and middle-class neighborhoods everywhere are disappearing. Our winner-take-all cities are just one manifestation of a profound crisis in today's urbanized knowledge economy.A bracingly original work of research and analysis, The New Urban Crisis offers a compelling diagnosis of our economic ills and a bold prescription for more inclusive cities capable of ensuring growth and prosperity for all.
Groundbreaking analysis showing that greater economic equality-not greater wealth-is the mark of the most successful societies, and offering new ways to achieve it.
"Get your hands on this book."-Bill Moyers
This groundbreaking book, based on thirty years' research, demonstrates that more unequal societies are bad for almost everyone within them-the well-off and the poor. The remarkable data the book lays out and the measures it uses are like a spirit level which we can hold up to compare different societies. The differences revealed, even between rich market democracies, are striking. Almost every modern social and environmental problem-ill health, lack of community life, violence, drugs, obesity, mental illness, long working hours, big prison populations-is more likely to occur in a less equal society. The book goes to the heart of the apparent contrast between material success and social failure in many modern national societies.
The Spirit Level does not simply provide a diagnosis of our ills, but provides invaluable instruction in shifting the balance from self-interested consumerism to a friendlier, more collaborative society. It shows a way out of the social and environmental problems which beset us, and opens up a major new approach to improving the real quality of life, not just for the poor but for everyone. It is, in its conclusion, an optimistic book, which should revitalize politics and provide a new way of thinking about how we organize human communities.
A Charmed Life tells the story of Liza Campbell, the last child to be born at the impressive and renowned Cawdor Castle, the same locale featured in Shakespeare's Macbeth. It was at the historical ancestral home that Liza's seemingly idyllic fairytale childhood began to resemble a nightmare.
Increasingly overwhelmed by his enormous responsibilities, Liza's father Hugh, the twenty-fifth Thane of Cawdor, tipped into madness fueled by drink, drugs, and extramarital affairs. Over the years, the castle was transformed into an arena of reckless extravagance and terrifying domestic violence, as Liza and her siblings watched their father destroy himself, his family, and their centuries-old legacy.
Painstakingly honest, thoroughly entertaining, and sharply written, Campbell's contemporary fairytale tells of growing up as a maiden in a castle where ancient curses and grisly events from centuries ago live on between its stone walls.
" A] courageous memoir . . . a page turner set among moats, drawbridges, and portcullises both real and metaphorical." --Vogue
"Superbly written." --Harper's Bazaar
"Poignant . . . lovely." --Entertainment Weekly
"Edged with relentless wit . . . A Charmed Life is a] nightmarish memoir that gives fiction a run for its money." --Kirkus Reviews
"Intriguing... a] highly readable story...extraordinary." --Tucson Citizen
In this "clear, provocative" (Boston Globe) New York Times bestseller, Paul Krugman, today's most widely read economist, examines the past eighty years of American history, from the reforms that tamed the harsh inequality of the Gilded Age and the 1920s to the unraveling of that achievement and the reemergence of immense economic and political inequality since the 1970s. Seeking to understand both what happened to middle-class America and what it will take to achieve a "new New Deal," Krugman has created his finest book to date, a "stimulating manifesto" offering "a compelling historical defense of liberalism and a clarion call for Americans to retake control of their economic destiny" (Publishers Weekly).
"As Democrats seek a rationale not merely for returning to power, but for fundamentally changing--or changing back--the relationship between America's government and its citizens, Mr. Krugman's arguments will prove vital in the months and years ahead." --Peter Beinart, New York Times