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How can we rebuild America so that it is a land with opportunity for all, wherever we live, whatever our complexion? Tightrope outlines a better path for our nation, but first it takes us through an "other America" where wages are low and stagnant, decent jobs are scarce, racial inequity is stark, and Americans die of drug overdoses every seven minutes. Kristof and WuDunn tell the story of America's crisis partly through the lives of friends Kristof grew up with in rural Yamhill, Oregon, a working-class area that was hit badly by the disappearance of blue - collar jobs. Their powerful personal stories and those of others bring to life how we got into this mess and also show a path by which we can right ourselves as a country, redress racial inequity, reduce inequality, and build economic opportunity. Tightrope is a story of hope that is riveting, deeply personal, and impossible to ignore. Book jacket.
New York Times Best Seller With stark poignancy and political dispassion Tightrope addresses the crisis in working-class America while focusing on solutions to mend a half century of governmental failure. This must-read book “shows how we can and must do better” (Katie Couric). "A deft and uniquely credible exploration of rural America, and of other left-behind pockets of our country. One of the most important books I've read on the state of our disunion."—Tara Westover, author of Educated Drawing us deep into an “other America,” the authors tell this story, in part, through the lives of some of the people with whom Kristof grew up, in rural Yamhill, Oregon. It’s an area that prospered for much of the twentieth century but has been devastated in the last few decades as blue-collar jobs disappeared. About a quarter of the children on Kristof’s old school bus died in adulthood from drugs, alcohol, suicide, or reckless accidents. While these particular stories unfolded in one corner of the country, they are representative of many places the authors write about, ranging from the Dakotas and Oklahoma to New York and Virginia. With their superb, nuanced reportage, Kristof and WuDunn have given us a book that is both riveting and impossible to ignore.
From the authors of the #1 New York Times best-selling Half the Sky, a unique and essential narrative about making a difference in the world--a road-map to becoming a conscientious global citizen. The basis of a PBS four-hour series.
A Pulitzer Prize-winning husband-and-wife team speaks out against the oppression of women in the developing world, sharing example stories about victims and survivors who are working to raise awareness, counter abuse, and campaign for women's rights.
The definitive book on China's uneasy transformation into an economic and political superpower by two Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporters. An insightful and thought-provoking analysis of daily life in China, China Wakes is an exemplary work of reportage. 16 pages of photos.
Book This Brilliant Darkness: A Book of Strangers Description/Summary:
A visionary work of radical empathy. Known for immersion journalism that is more immersed than most people are willing to go, and for a prose style that is somehow both fierce and soulful, Jeff Sharlet dives deep into the darkness around us and awaiting us. This work began when his father had a heart attack; two years later, Jeff, still in his forties, had a heart attack of his own. In the grip of writerly self-doubt, Jeff turned to images, taking snapshots and posting them on Instagram, writing short, true stories that bloomed into documentary. During those two years, he spent a lot of time on the road: meeting strangers working night shifts as he drove through the mountains to see his father; exploring the life and death of Charley Keunang, a once-aspiring actor shot by the police on LA’s Skid Row; documenting gay pride amidst the violent homophobia of Putin’s Russia; passing time with homeless teen addicts in Dublin; and accompanying a lonely woman drifting into dementia, whose only friend was a houseplant, on shopping trips. Early readers have called this book “incantatory,” the voice “prophetic,” in “James Agee’s tradition of looking at the reality of American lives.” Defined by insomnia and late-night driving and the companionship of other darkness-dwellers—night bakers and last-call drinkers, frightened people and frightening people, the homeless and the lost (or merely disoriented), other people on the margins—This Brilliant Darkness erases the boundaries between author, subject, and reader to ask: how do people live with suffering?
“A gritty, wonderfully honest investigation of life in an urban American high school in the 21st Century.” —Jay Mathews, Washington Post education columnist Searching for Hope is a gripping account of life in a once-great high school in a rough Indianapolis neighborhood. Granted unfiltered access to Manual High throughout an entire school year, award-winning journalist Matthew Tully tells the complex story of the everyday drama, failures, and triumphs in one of the nation’s many troubled urban public high schools. He walks readers into classrooms, offices, and hallways, painting a vivid picture of the profound academic problems, deep frustrations, and apathy that absorb and sometimes consume students, teachers, and administrators. Yet this intimate view also reveals the hopes, dreams, and untapped talents of some amazing individuals. Providing insights into the challenges confronting those who seek to improve the quality of America’s schools, Tully argues that school leaders and policy makers must rally communities to heartfelt engagement with their schools if the crippling social and economic threats to cities such as Indianapolis are to be averted. “[W]hile the book offers no unfamiliar insight into the plight of urban schools, it does give a powerful, ultimately genuine voice to the complicated, imperfect individuals whose victories and hopes are often unreported.” —Publishers Weekly “[T]his keen observation of teens at a troubled high school makes for fascinating reading.” —Library Journal
Book Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism Description/Summary:
A New York Times Bestseller A Wall Street Journal Bestseller A New York Times Notable Book of 2020 A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice Shortlisted for the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year A New Statesman Book to Read From economist Anne Case and Nobel Prize winner Angus Deaton, a groundbreaking account of how the flaws in capitalism are fatal for America's working class Deaths of despair from suicide, drug overdose, and alcoholism are rising dramatically in the United States, claiming hundreds of thousands of American lives. Anne Case and Angus Deaton explain the overwhelming surge in these deaths and shed light on the social and economic forces that are making life harder for the working class. As the college educated become healthier and wealthier, adults without a degree are literally dying from pain and despair. Case and Deaton tie the crisis to the weakening position of labor, the growing power of corporations, and a rapacious health-care sector that redistributes working-class wages into the pockets of the wealthy. This critically important book paints a troubling portrait of the American dream in decline, and provides solutions that can rein in capitalism's excesses and make it work for everyone.
This gripping narrative explores today's scientific pursuit of immortality, with exclusive visits inside Silicon Valley labs and interviews with the visionaries who believe we will soon crack into the aging process and cure death. We live in an age when billionaires are betting their fortunes on laboratory advances to prove aging unnecessary and death a disease that can be cured. Researchers are delving into the mysteries of stem cells and the human genome, discovering what it means to grow old and how to keep those processes from happening. This isn't science fiction; it's real, it's serious, and it's on track to revolutionize our definitions of life and mortality. In Immortality, Inc., veteran science journalist Chip Walter gains exclusive access to the champions of this radical cause, delivering a book that brings together for the first time the visions of molecular biologist and Apple chairman Arthur Levinson, genomics entrepreneur Craig Venter, futurist Ray Kurzweil, rejuvenation trailblazer Aubrey de Grey, and stem cell expert Robert Hariri. Along the way, Walter weaves in fascinating conversations about life, death, aging, and the future of the human race.
Tani Adewumi's moving true story of immigrating to America, developing his talent for chess, and finding a new home will inspire families looking for stories of hope and kindness. Tani was just six years old when he and his family fled persecution in Nigeria and became refugees in New York City. Tani was amazed, and a little overwhelmed, by all the new things in America. But one new experience turned out to be the most wonderful discovery--chess! With joy and determination, Tani studied hard, practicing chess for hours on the floor of his room in the homeless shelter. Less than a year later, he won the New York State Chess Championship, and through one act of kindness after another, found a new home. This picture book biography for children ages 5 to 10 tells the captivating real-life story of a young chess champion celebrates the power of hope and hard work reminds us that we can each make the world a more welcoming place encourages empathy and compassion includes beautiful digital illustrations by Courtney Dawson is perfect for children reading alone; story time for families, classrooms, and libraries; and celebrations of World Refugee Day This exciting book about chess, family, and community reminds us all that home is a place where you can follow your dreams.
Secrets and Shadows is a novel about how the events of the Second World War can re-verberate into the future. Silman uses the fall of the Berlin Wall to explore the long marriage and divorce of her protagonists, Eve and Paul. When Eve agrees to accompany her former husband to Berlin, Paul recalls and narrates the past he has never been able to share with his wife. Eve begins to see how Paul's hidden childhood in Nazi Germany, shaped and influenced their marriage, and how his trauma exacted a price in their relationship. The novel is about the complexities of guilt, anger, love and lust, and above all forgiveness as Eve and Paul help each other confront a bitter past and move forward in their lives.
"We live in a tumbleweed society, where job insecurity is rampant and widely seen as inevitable. Companies are transforming the way they organize work. While new working conditions offer gains for some workers, others lose out. Home life offers little respite: while diverse types of families are more accepted than ever before, stability is increasingly lacking in our intimate lives. In The Tumbleweed Society, sociologist Allison Pugh examines the ways we navigate questions of commitment and flexibility at work and at home in a society where insecurity has become the norm. Drawing on 80 in-depth interviews with three groups of parents who vary in their experiences of job insecurity and family structure, Pugh explores how people are adapting to the new culture of insecurity and how these adaptations themselves affect what we can expect from each other. Faced with perpetual insecurity both at work and at home, people construct stronger walls between the two, expecting little or nothing from their jobs and placing nearly all of their expectations for fulfilling connections on their intimate relationships. This trend, Pugh argues, often has the effect of making intimate lives even more fraught, reproducing the very tumbleweed dynamics they seek to check. Pugh shows that our experiences of insecurity shape the way we talk about obligations, how we interpret them as commitments we will or will not shoulder, how we conceive of what we owe each other--indeed, how we are able to weave the fabric of our connected lives"--
1686, Iceland. A cold, windswept land where they talk of witches and fear strangers . . . 'Gripped me in a cold fist. Beautiful' Sara Collins, author of The Confessions of Frannie Langton 'A perfect, gripping winter read. I loved it' Sophie Mackintosh, author of The Water Cure ____________ When Rósa is betrothed to Jón Eiríksson, she is sent to a remote village. There she finds a man who refuses to speak of his recently deceased first wife, and villagers who view her with suspicion. Isolated and disturbed by her husband's strange behaviour, her fears deepen. What is making the strange sounds in the attic? Who does the mysterious glass figure she is given represent? And why do the villagers talk of the coming winter darkness in hushed tones? The Glass Woman is a mysterious and captivating tale of love, fear and superstition, perfect for readers of The Miniaturist, The Silent Companions, and The Bear & The Nightingale. ____________ 'ENTHRALLING' Stacey Halls, author of The Familiars & The Foundling 'CRACKLES WITH TENSION. MOVING AND ATMOSPHERIC, I COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN' Laura Purcell, author of The Silent Companions & Bone China 'MEMORABLE AND COMPELLING. A NOVEL ABOUT WHAT HAUNTS US - AND WHAT SHOULD' Sarah Moss, author ofGhost Wall 'EVOCATIVE, COMPELLING, WITH A BRILLIANT TWIST' Daily Express 'AN ICELANDIC JANE EYRE . . . COMPELLING, ATMOSPHERIC' Sunday Times 'INTENSELY WRITTEN AND ATMOSPHERIC, WITH AN UNUSUAL SETTING' Daily Mail 'A CHILLING TALE' Good Housekeeping 'LIKE A GHOST STORY TOLD AROUND A WINTER FIRE Tim Leach, author of Smile of the Wolf SHORTLISTED FOR THE HISTORICAL WRITERS ASSOCIATION DEBUT AWARD
What does it mean to be poor in Britain and America? For decades the primary narrative about poverty in both countries is that it has been caused by personal flaws or ‘bad life decisions’ rather than policy choices or economic inequality. This misleading account has become deeply embedded in the public consciousness with serious ramifications for how financially vulnerable people are seen, spoken about and treated. Drawing on a two-year multi-platform initiative, this book by award-winning journalist and author Mary O’Hara, asks how we can overturn this portrayal once and for all. Crucially, she turns to the real experts to try to find answers – the people who live it.
NATIONAL BESTSELLER "A profound book.... It will break your heart but also leave you with hope." —J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy "[A] deeply empathetic book." —The Economist With stark photo essays and unforgettable true stories, Chris Arnade cuts through "expert" pontification on inequality, addiction, and poverty to allow those who have been left behind to define themselves on their own terms. After abandoning his Wall Street career, Chris Arnade decided to document poverty and addiction in the Bronx. He began interviewing, photographing, and becoming close friends with homeless addicts, and spent hours in drug dens and McDonald's. Then he started driving across America to see how the rest of the country compared. He found the same types of stories everywhere, across lines of race, ethnicity, religion, and geography. The people he got to know, from Alabama and California to Maine and Nevada, gave Arnade a new respect for the dignity and resilience of what he calls America's Back Row--those who lack the credentials and advantages of the so-called meritocratic upper class. The strivers in the Front Row, with their advanced degrees and upward mobility, see the Back Row's values as worthless. They scorn anyone who stays in a dying town or city as foolish, and mock anyone who clings to religion or tradition as naïve. As Takeesha, a woman in the Bronx, told Arnade, she wants to be seen she sees herself: "a prostitute, a mother of six, and a child of God." This book is his attempt to help the rest of us truly see, hear, and respect millions of people who've been left behind.
Water. Food. Housing. The most basic and crucial needs for survival, yet 40 percent of people in the United States don't have the resources to get them. With key policy changes, we could eradicate poverty in this country within our lifetime—but we need to get started now. Nearly 40 million people in the United States live below the poverty line—about $26,200 for a family of four. Low-income families and individuals are everywhere, from cities to rural communities. While poverty is commonly seen as a personal failure, or a deficiency of character or knowledge, it's actually the result of bad policy. Public policy has purposefully erected barriers that deny access to basic needs, creating a society where people can easily become trapped—not because we lack the resources to lift them out, but because we are actively choosing not to. Poverty is close to inevitable for low-wage workers and their children, and a large percentage of these people, despite qualifying for it, do not receive government aid. From Joanne Samuel Goldblum and Colleen Shaddox, Broke in America offers an eye-opening and galvanizing look at life in poverty in this country: how circumstances and public policy conspire to keep people poor, and the concrete steps we can take to end poverty for good. In clear, accessible prose, Goldblum and Shaddox detail the ways the current system is broken and how it's failing so many of us. They also highlight outdated and ineffective policies that are causing or contributing to this unnecessary problem. Every chapter features action items readers can use to combat poverty—both nationwide and in our local communities, including the most effective public policies you can support and how to work hand-in-hand with representatives to affect change. So far, our attempted solutions have fallen short because they try to "fix" poor people rather than address the underlying problems. Fortunately, it's much easier to fix policy than people. Essential and timely, Broke in America offers a crucial road map for securing a brighter future.
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK * From an award-winning journalist, a poignant and gripping immersion in the life of a young, homeless single mother amid her quest to find stability and shelter in the richest city in America LONGLISTED FOR THE PEN/JEAN STEIN BOOK AWARD * "Riveting . . . a remarkable feat of reporting."--The New York Times Camila is twenty-two years old and a new mother. She has no family to rely on, no partner, and no home. Despite her intelligence and determination, the odds are firmly stacked against her. In this extraordinary work of literary reportage, Lauren Sandler chronicles a year in Camila's life--from the birth of her son to his first birthday--as she navigates the labyrinth of poverty and homelessness in New York City. In her attempts to secure a safe place to raise her son and find a measure of freedom in her life, Camila copes with dashed dreams, failed relationships, the desolation of abandonment, and miles of red tape with grit, humor, and uncanny resilience. Every day, more than forty-five million Americans attempt to survive below the poverty line. Every night, nearly sixty thousand people sleep in New York City-run shelters, 40 percent of them children. In This Is All I Got, Sandler brings this deeply personal issue to life, vividly depicting one woman's hope and despair and her steadfast determination to change her life despite the myriad setbacks she encounters. This Is All I Got is a rare feat of reporting and a dramatic story of survival. Sandler's candid and revealing account also exposes the murky boundaries between a journalist and her subject when it becomes impossible to remain a dispassionate observer. She has written a powerful and unforgettable indictment of a system that is often indifferent to the needs of those it serves, and that sometimes seems designed to fail. Praise for This Is All I Got "A rich, sociologically valuable work that's more gripping, and more devastating, than fiction."--Booklist "Vivid, heartbreaking. . . . Readers will be moved by this harrowing and impassioned call for change."--Publishers Weekly "A closely observed chronicle . . . Sandler displays her journalistic talent by unerringly presenting this dire situation. . . . An impressive blend of dispassionate reporting, pungent condemnation of public welfare, and gritty humanity." --Kirkus Reviews