In his 18 years as an opinion columnist for The New York Times, Herbert championed the working poor and the middle class. After filing his last column in 2011, he set off on a journey across the country to report on Americans who were being left behind in an economy that has never fully recovered from the Great Recession. The portraits of those he encountered fuel his new book, Losing Our Way. Herbert’s combination of heartrending reporting and keen political analysis is the purest expression since the Occupy movement of the plight of the 99 percent.
The individuals and families who are paying the price of America’s bad choices in recent decades form the book’s emotional center: an exhausted high school student in Brooklyn who works the overnight shift in a factory at minimum wage to help pay her family’s rent; a 24-year-old soldier from Peachtree City, Georgia, who loses both legs in a misguided, mismanaged, seemingly endless war; a young woman, only recently engaged, who suffers devastating injuries in a tragic bridge collapse in Minneapolis; and a group of parents in Pittsburgh who courageously fight back against the politicians who decimated funding for their children’s schools.
"Bob Herbert has written a terrific and important book about America. It is an incisive examination of our nation’s tragic unwillingness to address the overwhelming problems we face. We can’t go forward unless we face reality. Herbert has the courage to do that." (U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders)
"In vivid anecdotes and moving portraits, Herbert humanizes the many problems he uncovers, and he clearly believes that Americans can, and will, band together to set the nation on a new course."(Kirkus Review)
"Asked by a World War II veteran, ‘What happened to us?’, Bob Herbert does what he has done all through his remarkable career as a journalist: he sets out to find the answers from the ground up. Searching out the stories and experiences of everyday Americans, and digging deep into facts and figures from ‘the high noon of capitalism’ to the widening gulf of our present vast inequalities, he takes us to the heart and core of our troubles while holding firmly to the conviction of his lifetime: that the truth shall set us free. Here is America as revealed by a great reporter whose empathy with everyday people inspires trust on their part, honesty on his, and discovery for all who make the journey with him." (Bill Moyers)
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The great benefactor of truth & eloquent sadness.