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Thread: Recommended Read - 'Tightrope'

  1. #1
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    Dec 2003
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    Default Recommended Read - 'Tightrope'

    If you want a carefully considered analysis of how we've come to the place we have in the U.S. -- this is the one.

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45553638-tightrope

    In a country that purports to root for the underdog [the 'American Dream'], too often we exalt the rich and we punish the poor. This is an unflinching book that illustrates that central, confounding American paradox. With thorough reporting and extraordinary compassion, Kristof and WuDunn tell the stories of those who fall behind in the world’s wealthiest country. In the most vulnerable regions, they find not an efficient first-world safety net created by their government, but merely a patchwork of community initiatives, perpetually underfunded and run by tired saints. It’s not enough, and those who fall through the cracks fall precipitously.

    Kristof and WuDunn focus on Yamhill, Oregon, a blue-collar town where Kristof grew up. Though he got out and rose up, too many of his classmates succumbed to the opioid scourge—driven entirely by Big Pharma greed—or fell behind on medical payments that left them broke and broken. Common to all the stories is the resilience of these families in the face of system that can be indifferent at best and punitive at worst.

    And yet amid all the tragedy and neglect, Kristof and WuDunn conjure a picture of how it could all get better, how it could all work. That’s the miracle of Tightrope, and why this is such an indispensable book. In concise, lucid chapters, we see humanity at its most desperate, its most rugged, but perhaps its most heroic. A reader comes away from Tightrope full of outrage but not without hope.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    Default Re: Recommended Read - 'Tightrope'

    Pulitzer Prize winners Kristof and WuDunn (A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity, 2014, etc.) zero in on working-class woes and how to ease them.With an earnest blend of shoe-leather reporting and advocacy for social justice, the married journalists send a clear message to anyone who wants to see working-class Americans prosper: Stop blaming them for making “bad choices” and for failing to “pull themselves up by the bootstraps.” While acknowledging the need for personal responsibility—and for aid from private charities—the authors make a forceful case that the penalties for missteps fall unequally on the rich and poor in spheres that include education, health care, employment, and the judicial system; to end the injustices, the government also must act. “After Harvey Weinstein was arrested for sexual assault following accusations by more than eighty women, he was freed on bail,” they write. “In contrast, a young adult caught smoking marijuana may be unable to afford bail and stuck indefinitely in jail, losing his job and, unable to make payments, perhaps his home and car as well.” In making their case, the authors describe what they saw in Kristof’s hometown of Yamhill, Oregon, where the loss of well-paying union jobs and other upheavals have left a community in peril. Elsewhere, they find hope in initiatives such as the Remote Area Medical aid group, which offers free health care in Appalachia, and the Women in Recovery program in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which gives some offenders counseling instead of prison time, leading to lower recidivism rates. At times, the authors sound less like print journalists than like politicians (we’re wasting “America’s most important resource, its people”) or Oprah (“Ten Steps You Can Take in the Next Ten Minutes To Make a Difference”). Whatever the tone, the book is enhanced by the more than two dozen black-and-white photographs by award-winning photojournalist Lynsey Addario.

    An ardent and timely case for taking a multipronged approach to ending working-class America’s long decline.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    Default Re: Recommended Read - 'Tightrope'

    Bump - in case some haven't seen it. Really IS worth the time.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    66,508

    Default Re: Recommended Read - 'Tightrope'

    Bump again. It's not just an important book, it's an easy read. Again I recommend it.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

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