Great Divide: Second Thoughts on the American Dream

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In his latest oral history, an appraisal of how the last 10 years have changed us, Pulitzer Prize-winner Terkel ( Working , etc.) uses the phrase ``great divide'' to symbolize the breaches which he claims are widening between young and old, rich and poor, among racial groups and within religious communities. He notes, too, a gap in our historical memory of even the immediate past, especially among the young, who tend to confuse celebrity with leadership. Eloquent, firsthand recitations from farmers who are losing their land, their solidarity, and their children to the city or by suicide, contrast starkly with that of an international Wall Street futures dealer, listed in the Forbes 400 register of richest Americans. Observations from a truck driver, a sports columnist, a laid-off steel worker, a striking flight attendant, a Ku Klux Klan member, a Gray Panthers activist and a couple serving time for anti-nuclear demonstrations comprise, along wth a host of others, this portrait of a nation's people riven by conflicting values. Major ad/promo; author tour. (October)
Library Journal
In the latest of Terkel's fine oral histories, ordinary people reflect on the issues of the 1980sReaganism, greed, farming, race relations, education, and religion. The law-and-order fundamentalist who participated in the sanctuary movement and the police chief's wife who was arrested during an anti-war demonstration help form this collage. The ``divide'' exists when inner beliefs conflict with public policy; when family members harbor differing views on heartfelt issues; when the ideas of the 1960s are compared with those of the 1980s. How did we get from there to here? Where are we heading? There are no answers here, just very timely and provocative commentary in Terkel's inimitable style. Sondra Brunhumer, Western Michigan Univ. Libs., Kalamazoo
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380708543
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/1989
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 448

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