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Journey to Nowhere: The Saga of the New Underclass Hardcover – June, 1985


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Our Kids by Robert D. Putnam
Our Kids by Robert D. Putnam
Enjoy Robert Putnam's analysis on why fewer Americans have the opportunity for upward mobility. Learn more | See all by author
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; 1st edition (June 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385279647
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385279642
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,307,239 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By chimesfreedom on May 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
Although I initially discovered this book because it had provided inspiration for Bruce Springsteen, "Journey to Nowhere" stands on its own as an insightful book on what the authors call the "Out Generation" -- the forgotten disenfranchised workers left out of the system. The photos alone are worth the price of the book, and the photos and text together tell a number of stories about real people, including unemployed Ohio factory workers, people who ride the rails looking for work, immigrants seeking hope, and homeless families. Few books that one reads have a genuine lasting impact on the reader, but this one will. The fact that this book is out of print might be a reflection of society's desire to close its eyes to the poor, but hopefully the book will again be published.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 18, 1997
Format: Paperback
This book, along with the Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck, inspired Bruce Springsteens Grammy award winning record The Ghost of Tom Joad. Springsteen writes these days of heroes who are neither Elvis nor Jesus. They are fathers and brothers, mothers and sisters. They are friends and they are those shadows which evoke uneasiness in the darkness. They are the AIDS victim who calls out, 'Receive me brother'. They are the illegal alien who is exploited then discarded as industrial waste. They are the frail urchins of a graceless existence whose hope lies not in feudal promises but in the luminescence of the human spirit. Whether driven by courage or desperation, their heroism comes from the decision to travel the hard road of free will and self determination in search of peace. The omnipotent wish to stride through the front door of Heaven, their individual soul adorned in full credentials. The humble simply wish to avoid Hell. The stories told in Journey to Nowhere by Mr Maharidge in this book bring to life this very real undercalss in America, an underclass from which you and I are no more than one or two missed paychecks removed. It asks not pity but understanding. A moving book.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A. Ort on December 1, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a remarkable book. I am amazed it is out of print. Springsteen's The Ghost of Tom Joad captures the spirit of this book remarkably well.
Youngstown, Ohio is, in many ways, a culture unto itself, a surreal location on planet America. It is ironic because at one time Youngstown seemed to be the epitome of the America Dream. The irony is that in many ways it is still the epitome of America although 'epitome' no longer means the 'goal' of the American Dream but connotates its polar opposite.
While this book may leave the reader with a feeling of hopelessness at the America since lost, there is a ray of hope that shines through its pages when one realizes that life is much more than what we see here. The ray of hope is the power of the human spirit to overcome and to live in spite of circumstances.
The photos are powerful. The essays are poetic. And the people come alive in its pages.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Shaksz on April 16, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book highlights what has been the driving force behind the innovativeness of American manufacturers, their workers and the work ethic that has been replaced with the venality of wall street ethos where shareholders and executive pay drives everything above morality and ethics
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By chmrhp on March 19, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first heard a radio review of Journey to Nowhere 4 or 5 years ago and immediately began looking for a new copy. I soon learned it is out-of-print. When I found this seller they had an excellent price for a book in good condition so I decided to take the plunge despite experiences where good has only meant acceptable. Well that wasn't the case thsi time! The book is like new and it's living up to to the radio review I's heard.

The Journey to Nowhere documents the growing underclass that is rapidly becoming the norm in America. Folks that once had access to the American Dream through hard work and loyalty now find themselves struggling to get by. Let's hope that the tide turns and better days are ahead for America.
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