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Ours Was the Shining Future: The Story of the American Dream

av David Leonhardt

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
632420,049 (4.4)2
"The stagnation of living standards for most Americans over the past few decades has been the defining trend of modern life in the United States. Wealth and educational attainment have all slowed to a crawl in the twenty first century, while life expectancy has declined, economic inequality has soared, and the Black-White wage gap is as large as it was when Harry Truman was president. How did this happen in the world's most powerful country? Drawing from decades of writing about the economy for the New York Times, as well as years spent digging through archives, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer David Leonhardt tells the story of the past century of the American economy, starting with the Great Depression and the invention of the term "American dream." UNTITLED explains how the United States built the most prosperous mass economy in history after the Depression, then examines how that economy unraveled after our postwar boom. Its central argument is that three forces, above all, have dictated the economy's rise and fall: political power through grass-roots movement, culture, and investment in making life better for the future. Filled with the clear, lucid writing for which Leonhardt is known, UNTITLED is an enlightening economic history, featuring the unforgettable figures who helped shape the American dream: Frances Perkins, Eisenhower, Cesar Chavez, Betty Friedan, Robert Kennedy, Grace Hopper, Paul Hoffman, and more"--… (mer)
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5828 .Ours Was the Shining Future The Story of the American Dream, by David Leonhardt (read 20 Jan 2024) This book, published in 2023, is full of good commentary re the years in America of the last 50 years, setting out how we have declined recently and what needs to be done to revivify the search for the American dream. It requires greater study than I gave it, but sets out what the author sees as necessary and what he says makes sense. ( )
  Schmerguls | Jan 20, 2024 |
I took an elective in economics in high school after a teacher recommended it. What I most remember was being told that a high national debt was the result of a growing economy, and since it was money we owe to ourselves, we shouldn’t be worried about a high debt.

When I took that class, the economy was still good. My dad had a union job with great benefits. We had two cars and a house in the suburbs. He talked about his international lab at Chrysler, with engineers from India and Lebanon.

But society was also under strain. We watched helicopters flying overhead, taking National Guard to Detroit in ’67. Kids from my high school class went to an antiwar protest and fhad to run from the police. Inflation and lines at gas stations plagued my early marriage, and when we bought a house the mortgage had a 15.5% interest rate. Fast forward to 2008, and when our son graduated from college, it took two years to find a job.

What happened?

David Leonhardt’s take on the American Dream is a comprehensive history of the social and political influences that drove the growth of the middle class and later drove huge business profits at the expense of workers.

Yes, there is a lot of information, but I found it interesting reading.

He breaks the book down into “The Rise” and “The Fall.” A central theme of The Rise is the importance of unions to workers. President F. D. Roosevelt supported living wages and unions. After WWII, business believed that well paid workers was good for the economy, therefore good for business. In The Fall, he shows how the breakdown in society into separate interest groups, especially those with ‘elite’ concerns over working/middle class concerns, impacted politics and the economy, and how social disorder and crime drove people to switch political allegiance.

I found the book to be balanced, engaging, and very informative.

Thanks to the publisher for a free book. ( )
1 rösta nancyadair | Oct 11, 2023 |
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"The stagnation of living standards for most Americans over the past few decades has been the defining trend of modern life in the United States. Wealth and educational attainment have all slowed to a crawl in the twenty first century, while life expectancy has declined, economic inequality has soared, and the Black-White wage gap is as large as it was when Harry Truman was president. How did this happen in the world's most powerful country? Drawing from decades of writing about the economy for the New York Times, as well as years spent digging through archives, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer David Leonhardt tells the story of the past century of the American economy, starting with the Great Depression and the invention of the term "American dream." UNTITLED explains how the United States built the most prosperous mass economy in history after the Depression, then examines how that economy unraveled after our postwar boom. Its central argument is that three forces, above all, have dictated the economy's rise and fall: political power through grass-roots movement, culture, and investment in making life better for the future. Filled with the clear, lucid writing for which Leonhardt is known, UNTITLED is an enlightening economic history, featuring the unforgettable figures who helped shape the American dream: Frances Perkins, Eisenhower, Cesar Chavez, Betty Friedan, Robert Kennedy, Grace Hopper, Paul Hoffman, and more"--

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