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The Riches of This Land: The Untold, True Story of America's Middle Class (Hardcover)
***A 2021 CLSC Selection!***
A vivid character-driven narrative, fused with important new economic and political reporting and research, that busts the myths about middle class decline and points the way to its revival.
For over a decade, Jim Tankersley has been on a journey to understand what the hell happened to the world's greatest middle-class success story -- the post-World-War-II boom that faded into decades of stagnation and frustration for American workers. In The Riches of This Land, Tankersley fuses the story of forgotten Americans-- struggling women and men who he met on his journey into the travails of the middle class-- with important new economic and political research, providing fresh understanding how to create a more widespread prosperity. He begins by unraveling the real mystery of the American economy since the 1970s - not where did the jobs go, but why haven't new and better ones been created to replace them.
About the Author
"Surprising and enlightening and timely. The Riches of This Land turns our understanding of why America once had an economy that delivered prosperity on its head. Only when black men, women of all races, and immigrants broke through blockades of oppression did their gains flow out to everyone. And, now, as Americans seek to find their way out from another devastating economic crisis, Tankersley exposes the true heroes of American prosperity - and why they are the source of our future renewal."
—Ibram X. Kendi, National Book Award-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling author
"The Riches of This Land is that rare combination of compassionate narrative and trenchant economic analysis to examine the often-misunderstood history of the American middle class and prescribe policies to revive it. Through great storytelling and a firm grasp on economics, Jim Tankersley gives us powerful insight on the key economic question of our time."—David Wessel, director, Hutchins Center on Fiscal & Monetary Policy at the Brookings Institution
"Globalization, the movement of manufacturing from America to China, and the current pandemic have shredded the American middle class. If we are to ever regain an economy that works for all people--not just a sliver of the economic elite--we need to understand who made America great in the first place. In his brilliantly written The Riches of this Land, Jim Tankersley tells the fascinating stories of the men and women who were the force behind the widespread prosperity we once enjoyed and who can lead us back to the promised land."—Andy Stern, president emeritus, Service Employees International Union, and author of Raising the Floor
"An essential book from an essential reporter taking on the most pressing political question of our age. The Riches of This Land is a brilliant, searing, and human-centered examination of the American middle class, what it could be, and what it must be."—Annie Lowrey, staff writer for the Atlantic and author of "Give People Money"
"The Riches of This Land is the inspiring story of the American economy's unsung heroes, and a manual for building a better future together as one nation."—Arthur Brooks, professor of the practice of public leadership, Harvard Kennedy School, and author of Love Your Enemies