Pinched: How the Great Recession Has Narrowed Our Futures and What We Can Do About It

Pinched: How the Great Recession Has Narrowed Our Futures and What We Can Do About It

by Don Peck
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

The Great Recession is not done with us yet. While the most acute part of the economic crisis is past, the recession's most significant impact on American life still lies in the future. The personal, social, and cultural changes that result from severe economic shocks build and manifest themselves only slowly. But history shows us that, ultimately, shocks this severe… See more details below

Overview

The Great Recession is not done with us yet. While the most acute part of the economic crisis is past, the recession's most significant impact on American life still lies in the future. The personal, social, and cultural changes that result from severe economic shocks build and manifest themselves only slowly. But history shows us that, ultimately, shocks this severe profoundly alter the character of society.
 
Don Peck’s Pinched, a fascinating and harrowing exploration of our dramatic economic climate, keenly observes how the recession has changed the places we live, the work we do, and even who we are—and details the transformations that are yet to come.  Every class and every generation will be affected: newly minted college graduates, blue-collar men, affluent professionals, exurban families, elite financiers, inner city youth, middle-class retirees.
 
This was not an ordinary recession, and ordinary responses will not fully end it. The crash has shifted the course of the economy.  In its aftermath, the middle class is shrinking faster, wealth is becoming more concentrated, twenty-somethings are sinking, and working-class families and communities are changing in unsavory ways.
 
We sit today between two eras, buffeted, anxious, and uncertain of the future.  Through vivid reporting and lucid argument, Peck helps us make sense of how our society has changed, and why so many people are still struggling.
 
The answers to these questions reveal a new way forward for America.  The country has endured periods like this one before, and has emerged all the stronger from them; adaptation and reinvention have been perhaps the nation’s best and most enduring traits.  The time is ripe for another such reinvention.  Pinched lays out the principles and public actions that can help us pull it off.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The Great Recession may have receded, but its consequences will resound through our society for years to come, as shown in this fascinating exploration from Peck, managing editor of the Atlantic. Though life in major cities and affluent suburbs has returned to something like normal, jobs remain scarce and the housing market devastated. The downturn will have an irrevocable, transformative impact on American life and culture—and Peck extrapolates those consequences and possible responses by looking at comparable economic calamities of the past: the panic of the 1890s, the Great Depression, and the oil-shock recessions of the 1970s. The current recession has affected the rich and poor unevenly, and this economic rift is mirrored geographically, as some areas recuperate from the crash and some founder. On the societal end, women are fast becoming the essential breadwinners and authority figures in many working-class families—and the previously over-confident Millennial Generation is showing the career conservatism of the generations before them. In the meantime, race relations have become yet more strained and complicated, xenophobia festers, and rural conservatism grows. Peck wraps up his exegesis with a consideration on the future of politics and possible strategies for healing the aftereffects of the recession. An important, far-thinking consideration of the reverberations—social, political, psychological—of the financial crash. (Sept.)
From the Publisher

“Fascinating…An important, far-thinking consideration of the reverberations--social, political, psychological--of the financial crash.” --Publishers Weekly (starred)

“Books attempting to explain the economic situation are a dime a dozen these days, but my pennies go to Pinched. Shorn of jargon, this tightly written book distinguishes itself from the crowd…It's great to find a book that identifies solutions, not just problems.” --Chicago Tribune (Editor's Choice)

“Outstanding. PINCHED has the potential to be a defining book about this era economically, how we should think about it, and what we should do about it. It does a better, clearer job of explaining this painful period than anything I've read recently. Don Peck puts together the pieces of today’s puzzle—the gender effects, the generational effects, the political ramifications of a slowing economy—in a way that makes obvious sense, once he has pointed them out. This is a wonderfully helpful and clarifying book.” --James Fallows

"A gripping and sobering account of the true costs of the financial boom-bust cycle, full of sensible analysis and level-headed suggestions. Policymakers on both sides of the aisle will ignore this book at their peril. Read PINCHED and run for office yourself." --Simon Johnson, Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT Sloan School of Management, and co-author of 13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and The Next Financial Meltdown

"Every era has its politico-economic text. Don Peck may well have written the one for the post financial crisis era.  His concerns for what a weak economy will leave in its wake are proper and pressing. We would make wiser policy if every policymaker read this brilliant book." --Larry Summers

"PINCHED is a must read for anyone trying to understand not just the causes but the long-running consequences of the Great Recession. Don Peck shows how the economic crisis is reshuffling our economic and social order, and how devastating the effects of long-term joblessness and diminished expectations can be. He outlines a new, broader but more focused strategy that puts job creation and economic recovery at the center of the nation's agenda." --Richard Florida, author of The Great Reset and The Rise of the Creative Class

"Timely and important." --Chrystia Freeland, The New York Times and International Herald Tribune 

"Compelling and disturbing ...Peck explains, with coolness and concision, the brutal new realities faced by Americans without college degrees ... He makes a compelling case that the most pressing problem the U.S. faces is not the bloated national debt, but the hollowing of the middle class." --Jeffrey Goldberg, Bloomberg     

From the Hardcover edition.

Library Journal
When the Atlantic hit the newsstands in March 2010, the cover story "How a New Jobless Era Will Transform America"—written by deputy editor Peck—kicked up quite a storm. It generated over 700,000 page views in three weeks, was printed out by some 100,000 people, and attracted the attention of President Obama, who had it distributed throughout the White House. In this expansion, Peck argues that the aftermath of the current recession will be long and hard and will affect everyone regardless of age or class. While he assesses government efforts to ease the pain, he seems to aim mainly at providing a sobering portrait of where we are now and where we'll be in the foreseeable future. Important reading.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307886545
Publisher:
Crown/Archetype
Publication date:
08/09/2011
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
192
File size:
2 MB

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >