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Declining Fortunes: The Withering Of The American Dream
     

Declining Fortunes: The Withering Of The American Dream

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by Katherine S. Newman
 

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American society has reneged on its promise to the baby-boom generation. Young people for the first time find themselves unable to duplicate, let alone surpass, their own parents' standard of living. Declining Fortunes sheds new light on a driving issue of our day: downward mobility and the politics of resentment.

Overview

American society has reneged on its promise to the baby-boom generation. Young people for the first time find themselves unable to duplicate, let alone surpass, their own parents' standard of living. Declining Fortunes sheds new light on a driving issue of our day: downward mobility and the politics of resentment.

Editorial Reviews

New York Times
The middle class matters hugely in this country and Ms. Newman is well on her way to becoming its preeminent chronicler.
San Francisco Chronicle
Declining Fortunes does a real service by taking the macroeconomic concept of middle-class decline and showing how we experience this reality as a set of personal, political and moral dilemmas.
New York Times Book Review
The middle class matters hugely in this country and Ms. Newman is well on her way to becoming its preeminent chronicler.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
To find out how economic decline and downward mobility have shaped the personal problems, marital conflicts and expectations of postwar baby-boomers, Columbia University anthropologist Newman interviewed some 150 residents of a typical New Jersey suburb. An important, perspicacious look at America's shrinking middle class, her study determines that occupational insecurity, high housing prices and the cost-of-living squeeze affect this generation's most personal decisions--such as whether or when to have children--besides increasing friction between spouses and antagonism toward racial minorities, particularly affluent Asian newcomers. Newman ( Falling from Grace: The Downward Mobility of the Middle Class ) perceives a dichotomy between liberal older boomers who came of age in the 1960s and the more conservative younger boomers beset by frustration, envy and a sense of helplessness. The baby-boom generation, she predicts, could become the most powerful political-interest group in the Clinton era. Major ad/promo; author tour. (May)
Library Journal
Newman, a Columbia University anthropology professor and author of Falling from Grace: The Downward Mobility of the Middle Class (Free Pr., 1988), sought to get behind economic statistics by interviewing more than 150 ordinary Americans in a typical suburban community to find out how the numbers translate into real people. What she found included aging parents who bought homes in the 1950s and 1960s with the aid of the GI Bill and low interest rates. These same parents have seen their baby boom children go on to college and professional success, only to discover that they can't afford to buy the homes in which they grew up. In microcosm, Newman clearly shows that the American dream is withering on the vine of an economy that is not providing ``the kind of job opportunities or personal security that the country took for granted only a generation ago.'' Recommended for academic and public libraries.-- Jeffrey R. Herold, Bucyrus P.L., Ohio
Booknews
A thoughtful portrait of the baby boom generation and its subgroups, exploring the differences in expectations and economic reward experienced by the boomers and their parents. Anthropologist Newman (Columbia U.) draws on extensive interviewing, incorporating extended quotes and cases in her presentation; but the notes show that she has also synthesized her discussion from a wide range of other resources. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780465015948
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
05/12/1994
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.68(w) x 8.93(h) x 0.80(d)

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Declining Fortunes; The Withering of the American Dream 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had to read this for a Sociology class on 'Status, Power, and Class'. It was very good because it didn't just focus on statistics, but on families. Generations who started out wealthy in the 50s, but the younger generation can not make it with the rise in income and gap in inequality.