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Booklist, **starred** review
Barlett and Steele address key elements of this betrayal [of the middle class] (globalization, outsourcing, taxes, pensions, financial-sector dominance), then offer suggestions for reversing it, including progressive tax reform, fair trade, infrastructure investment, focused retraining, and criminal prosecution of white-collar criminals. Expect demand.”
Columbia Journalism Review
The dedication reveals the emotional heart of their enterprise: Not merely number-crunching chroniclers of middle-class decline, they are invested in the fate of the people who exemplify it. Barlett and Steele’s preeminent talent is their knack for combining the micro and the macro. They look systemically at issues and policies, from the US tax code to healthcare. The questions they ask are both pragmatic (Does the system work?) and ideological (Who is benefiting, and at whose expense?). Their conclusions are buttressed by details gleaned from public records. But they also use the paper trail to track down the system’s apparent victims the laid-off, the discarded, the pensionless, and the uninsured.”
The ostensibly willful destruction of the American middle class is laid bare in this villains and underdogs story from the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting duo for folks bowled over by the recent financial meltdown, Barlett and Steele's book will resonate.”
Leonard Downie, Philadelphia Inquirer
Just in time for this year's election, Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele are continuing the crusade to save the American middle class that they began two decades ago as star investigative reporters at The Philadelphia Inquirer .At a time when the future of investigative reporting is at risk in the digital reconstruction of American news media, Barlett and Steele could once again pioneer new ways of doing it, as they did in part through this collaboration with the Investigative Reporting Workshop. In any event, the publication of The Betrayal of the American Dream during the home stretch of the national political campaign injects a provocative populist imperative into an increasingly intense and perhaps decisive partisan debate over the fate of the American middle class.”
The avuncular pair, renowned for chillingly accurate, if uncomfortable, observations, have meticulously sharpened their analysis. Now, four decades of mistaken tax and trade policy, declining public and private investment and willing disregard of existing laws have crippled many American industries and sent thousands upon thousands of U.S. jobs overseas without cause, they say. Given the power of their past groundbreaking work on health care, the economy and other political hot potatoes that shape how all Americans live, Betrayal’’ merits a careful read from anyone concerned about the nation’s economic future. It is almost haunting They dissect one industry after another with the precision and narrative flair that have won them many awards, including two Pulitzers. The writers conclude with a cogent plan for substantial, specific changes to rehabilitate the American dream and rescue the middle class."
Mary Sanchez, Kansas City Star
"If ever there were a time to pitch a national read-in, this is it...The text we should all be reading is The Betrayal of the American Dream,’ by the reporting team of Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele. Published this month, the book is a nuanced and well-researched report on the crisis of the American middle class.”
The Betrayal of the American Dream is an angry book, denouncing the lies of corporate America and the elected officials it keeps on a leash woven from money.”
The team of Barlett and Steele have produced excellent journalism in the past, and they have done it again with The Betrayal of the American Dream, (2012) an analysis of the pain caused by the economic crisis for everyday people. This is a well written, readable book on the economic crisis and the 30 years of looting by corporate America that led to the crisis The authors, excellent investigative journalists, place human faces on the devastation being wrought in our economy, and the pain and suffering imposed on the many by the few. It is a book well worth reading.”
Dan Rodricks, Baltimore Sun
"Important reading in this election year.”
A brawling, journalistic mix-it-up The authors’ passion and anger are as clear in these pages as they are in the title.”
Urgent reading for anyone interested in contemporary America, not least as [a] stark reminder of what is barely being discussed in the presidential election.”
Creative Loafing Charlotte
Thank God for writers who are able to show the effects of political decisions on ordinary Americans. Two of the very best are Donald R. Barlett and James B. Steele, They shine again in their new book, The Betrayal of the American Dream (PublicAffairs, 306 pages, $26.99), in which America's overarching economic and political trends of the past 30 years are laid out clearly in intensely researched detail.”
Barlett and Steele cover a lot of ground in this relatively short, fast-paced new book. Their straightforward, impassioned prose is filled with real-life stories of people who are losing their grip on the American Dream. "