- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Basic Books (May 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 046501593X
- ISBN-13: 978-0465015931
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,971,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Declining Fortunes: The Withering of the American Dream Hardcover – May, 1993
Best Books of 2016
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
From Publishers Weekly
To find out how economic decline and downward mobility have shaped the personal problems, marital conflicts and expectations of postwar baby-boomers, Columbia University anthropologist Newman interviewed some 150 residents of a typical New Jersey suburb. An important, perspicacious look at America's shrinking middle class, her study determines that occupational insecurity, high housing prices and the cost-of-living squeeze affect this generation's most personal decisions--such as whether or when to have children--besides increasing friction between spouses and antagonism toward racial minorities, particularly affluent Asian newcomers. Newman ( Falling from Grace: The Downward Mobility of the Middle Class ) perceives a dichotomy between liberal older boomers who came of age in the 1960s and the more conservative younger boomers beset by frustration, envy and a sense of helplessness. The baby-boom generation, she predicts, could become the most powerful political-interest group in the Clinton era. Major ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Newman, a Columbia University anthropology professor and author of Falling from Grace: The Downward Mobility of the Middle Class (Free Pr., 1988), sought to get behind economic statistics by interviewing more than 150 ordinary Americans in a typical suburban community to find out how the numbers translate into real people. What she found included aging parents who bought homes in the 1950s and 1960s with the aid of the GI Bill and low interest rates. These same parents have seen their baby boom children go on to college and professional success, only to discover that they can't afford to buy the homes in which they grew up. In microcosm, Newman clearly shows that the American dream is withering on the vine of an economy that is not providing "the kind of job opportunities or personal security that the country took for granted only a generation ago." Recommended for academic and public libraries.
- Jeffrey R. Herold, Bucyrus P.L., Ohio
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
The Era of the Social Contract was a time when jobs were plentiful, a janitor, nightwatchman, factory operative, or other unskilled employee could support a family, and even buy a decent home, while his spouse could be a homemaker.
Subsequently, however, outsourcing, down-sizing, internationalization, and technological developments eliminated or degraded the kinds of jobs that made the once-traditional family possible. Now, even though offspring have higher levels of educational attainment and professional-sounding jobs, two-breadwinners are the norm, the real wage for employment of all kinds has diminished, and even responsibly frugal people have a much tougher time getting ahead that their parents did.
Newman documents all this is vivid anthropological detail, and explains that degraded domestic labor markets, not deficiencies of workers, are to blame. If you're in the prime of your life, working hard, well educated, but still struggling to make ends meet even though you're a member of a family with two bread-winners, this book will help explain your circumstances. Without intending to do do, I think the book also explains the massive credit crunch that has afflicted so many of us: we simply don't get paid enough to maintain the rudiments of a middle class life style.
A good book.
The author Katherine Newman did a great job at telling person stories of baby boomers and their children and their predicted plight. I do not blame the author for getting this wrong. I am just glad that it did not come true.
Terrific if you're a baby boomer looking for a reason to whine. Still a good explanation of the whole situation for someone with no clue.