Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope

Nicholas D. Kristof, Sheryl Wudunn

"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.

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Book Information

Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
Publish Date: 01/14/2020
Pages: 320
ISBN-13: 9780525655084
ISBN-10: 0525655085
Language: English

What We're Saying

January 16, 2020

“America’s proudest boast throughout history has been that we have no class system, and that opportunity is available to all. Yet a starting point in an exploration of our nation must be to acknowledge that today we do have a class hierarchy.” READ FULL DESCRIPTION

January 10, 2020

"Focusing on those left behind during an era of unprecedented economic growth and increasing income inequality in places like Nicholas Kristof’s hometown of Yamhill, Oregon, Tightrope’s most powerful moments are in the stories of individuals struggling to get by—incarcerated, addicted, and, like 60 percent of all Americans, in debt." READ FULL DESCRIPTION

July 08, 2020

American Aristocracy

By Nicholas D Kristof, Sheryl Wudunn

Researchers have found that … in countries around the world, the accumulation of wealth also often leads to accumulation of political power that is then harnessed to multiply that wealth. Indeed, that’s what we’re seeing in America. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

Full Description

"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

The Pulitzer Prize-winning authors of the acclaimed, best-selling Half the Sky now issue a plea--deeply personal and told through the lives of real Americans--to address the crisis in working-class America, while focusing on solutions to mend a half century of governmental failure. With stark poignancy and political dispassion, Tightrope draws us deep into an "other America." The authors tell this story, in part, through the lives of some of the children with whom Kristof grew up, in rural Yamhill, Oregon, 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 one-quarter of the children on Kristof's old school bus died in adulthood from drugs, alcohol, suicide, or reckless accidents. And 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. But here too are stories about resurgence, among them: Annette Dove, who has devoted her life to helping the teenagers of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, as they navigate the chaotic reality of growing up poor; Daniel McDowell, of Baltimore, whose tale of opioid addiction and recovery suggests that there are viable ways to solve our nation's drug epidemic. These accounts, illustrated with searing images by Lynsey Addario, the award-winning photographer, provide a picture of working-class families needlessly but profoundly damaged as a result of decades of policy mistakes. With their superb, nuanced reportage, Kristof and WuDunn have given us a book that is both riveting and impossible to ignore.

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