Profiles struggling Americans who have become casualties of government policies that have produced underemployment, inequality, and pointless wars, and calls for the middle class to reassert its power in order to restore the American dream.
This book comes from a question asked of the author by a World War II veteran: “What happened to us?” Designed to engage general readers, the book documents the current situation in the U.S., where one percent of the population now owns almost a quarter of the nation's resources, and eighty percent of the American public struggles to survive on seven percent of America's wealth. The author, who is now a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the public policy think tank Demos, sets out to explain clearly how the U.S. went in forty years from a country with a strong middle class to one with a massive divide between a few ultra-rich people and 250 million poor ones. The book documents the problem both through personal stories and statistics, and looks at what can make life better for most Americans. It is a book about policy rather than politics. The author focuses on four subject areas: the employment crisis, failing infrastructure (roads, rail lines, bridges, etc.), the school system, and the costs of war. After discussing the problems, the book outlines what is needed for things to get better. The author is a former journalist for NBC News and columnist for the New York Times, the winner of awards from the American Society of News Editors and the Ridenhour Courage Prize. The writing is engaging, personal stories are evocative and based on direct interviews with the author, and the text's facts are supported by endnotes. Recommended for general readers, readers and teachers of subject-based nonfiction, and specialists in social and political science or public policy. Recommendations in this book are not tied to a specific political party or agenda. They include creating jobs to fix failing infrastructure, providing stable funding for public schools instead of allowing individual billionaires to sponsor massive, temporary experiments with children's education, and spending the nation's wealth at home instead of in wars overseas. The book's primary message, however, is that the country will not be run for the benefit of most Americans until most Americans act together to limit the power of a few wealthy individuals to decide how the country is run. Annotation ©2015 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)