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This book is filled with fascinating nuggets of data, insights, and explanations for our world. I sometimes felt like the selection of anecdote was a little manipulative. Putnam admits that some examples were chosen that were particularly vivid to make the lesson clearer. When talking about the macro data though, Putnam seems fair, modest, creative, and insightful. The policy recommendations feature unsurprisingly less modest suggestions about the scope of our knowledge, but again he's open about this. An excellent read either in conjunction with Charles Murray's Coming Apart or for those who find lengthy data analysis a struggle to read.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
I think this book sheds light on a problem that a lot of us try to ignore - the growing poor right around our own neighborhoods. I don't have children, but I am nonetheless amazed when someone glibly states "if you want to get ahead, you just need to work a little harder". This book explains just why that no longer really rings true. I found it to be very informative and thought provoking.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
What has already happened in the US and what is likely to happen in the UK
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Compulsory reading for those wondering what just happened in America. If the idea that mendacious racists have unexpectedly taken over the country seems unsatisfying to you then you may find Putnam's argument - that there are real demographic and socioeconomic drivers dislocating middle and working class America from the metropolitan elite and they're not the ones the liberal media think they are - pretty compelling. I certainly did.