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A People's History of the Great Recession by [Delaney, Arthur]
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A People's History of the Great Recession Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Kindle, August 27, 2011
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Length: 153 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Details

  • File Size: 920 KB
  • Print Length: 153 pages
  • Publisher: Huffington Post Media Group (August 27, 2011)
  • Publication Date: August 27, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005KC4MLG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,118,921 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Matt Stoller on September 8, 2011
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I've been following Arthur's work for a few years at the Huffington Post, and I'm now enjoying this book. It's easy to read, well-structured, and chock full of useful facts that stories that will help you understand what has happened to this country over the past four years. This is a very different country than it used to be, and Arthur shows exactly why.

I love the title because it conveys the unusual point of the book. History is too often written by the winners, because chroniclers find easy access to the memoirs of the rich and famous. But it is the experiences of normal people that have a unique and important power of their own. These stories show the consequences of the decisions of the masters of the universe, and the constraints that they face in imposing their will on an increasingly restive and unhappy population. Credit companies aren't just reaping unfair fees, they are wrecking homes and lives through bureaucracy and greed.

These stories also suggest ways that people themselves can find hope and dignity in their own lives, even in the face of a malevolent set of institutional forces. The book chronicles the unemployment crisis, bank overdraft fees, the disastrous mortgage situation and housing bubble, and the failed government response. For conservatives, this book will challenge your belief in "the free market". It will show you that the unemployed are not lazy or stupid, that anyone could fall into this situation. For liberals, the book will challenge your faith in government, as Arthur shows the evil nature of the foreclosure relief programs and the collusion of the banks and authority structures.
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By Thomas on September 11, 2011
Arthur Delaney's book title is a bow to Howard Zinn's masterpiece, "A People's History of the United States," and deserves a place alongside it with Studs Terkel's equally great "Working." Delaney has spent a great deal of time, energy, and eloquence the last several years championing the unemployed, underemployed, and the underclass, sometimes nearly alone in the journalist's struggle to call attention to their plight. A year or so ago I wrote Arianna Huffington to please consider his efforts for the Pulitzer. She was receptive and proud of him, but apparently Pulitzers aren't awarded to web journalists, a true shame. Now that some of his work is finally in book form--book, e-book, whatever--I hope that the Prize will at last be conferred on him and his investigations. One of the few journalists working today who are writing smart copy AND doing so with compassion and courage. Highly recommended!
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Throughout much of this book, I found myself with the feeling that I was getting an ulcer, since I personally experienced so much of what the unfortunate (and unjobbed) went through during the Great Recession. This book, originally a series of articles in HUFFINGTON POST, explores the event not from a macro-economic perspective, but from the view of the people on the ground who actually went through it.
I found myself feeling sad, upset, and frequently outraged at the bureaucratic indifference that left so many Americans not only without jobs, but without homes and a means of sustenance. It reads like a cautionary tale of what life would be like if the GOP takes the White House again. Bottom line: they don't give a f*** about the unfortunate.
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I grabbed this book as somewhat of an impulse buy after seeing the first chapter on the Huffington Post, and while I'd say it was worth what I paid for it, there are some definite areas that it falls short for me.

Content wise, the stories it chronicles are really a collection of separate articles by the author, and while the chapter titles do help to bring them together around a point, it feels like almost all of them should be a lot longer and more in depth for a book format. There's also a number of stories that get so close to driving a point home and then fall short. For example, in one instance the author talks about a woman that called up a congressman to yell at him about the situation with unemployment checks, and as a result was offered a job by him doing yard work for $8 an hour so that she could prove that she really was willing to take any kind of work she could get. Unfortunately, the woman ended up quitting after only an hour worth of work. While including the story helps to show objectivity about the situation, it feels like the author could have found some more stories about workers who really did jump down a few rungs on the pay chain and stuck with it to make anything they could. Instead, the book feels to me like it's centered largely around unemployment benefits, which really is only a very small fraction of the greater economic problem that we're facing today.

One other thing that kept bothering me was the really high number of typos in the book. While one or two is understandable to miss, it really felt like the ratio of typos to book length was a lot higher with this one than with anything else I've read in recent memory.
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