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The 2017 Business Book of the Year: Janesville

January 22, 2018

Amy Goldstein's book about the city of Janesville is a microcosmic illustration of a national experience.

We announced our 2017 Business Book of the Year last Thursday at the Flatiron Room in New York City. The book that rose to the top of the stacks after months of reading and deliberation was Amy Goldstein's Janesville: An American Story.

There is nothing I can say or write about the book that is more eloquent or intelligent than what our general manager, Sally Haldorson, wrote last week.

 

Janesville, our 2017 Best Business Book of the Year, is a microcosmic illustration of a national experience. It is the story of a city and its peoples’ resilience and adaptability after the local GM plant—the gold standard of employment for generations—was closed. Impersonal business decisions inflict intimately felt pain as change becomes a necessity, not a choice. The book is about idealism and stubbornness and desperation and bravery, masterfully told by Amy Goldstein in interwoven, multi-dimensional story strands. Goldstein handles adeptly a large cast of characters, from politicians and the economically affluent who guide the city’s tenuous recovery, to the men and women who are left only to react to the decisions made by them, and who are forced to make their own decisions, good and bad, revealing the effects the fallout of the plant closure wreaks upon the upcoming generation.

 

This is a book that needs to be read, and a story that needs to spread. We have twenty copies available this week to do just that.

 

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