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Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 Hardcover – Jan 31 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Forum (Jan. 31 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307453421
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307453426
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 16.3 x 3.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 726 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #71,734 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Bojan Tunguz TOP 50 REVIEWER on Feb. 20 2012
Format: Hardcover
Charles Murray is one of the most distinguished and insightful social scientists of our time. His work over the past few decades has systematically and methodically probed into some of the most consequential and momentous societal and policy issues. Unfortunately, due to the highly politicized and contentious nature of many of such topics, he and his work have been subject to some very severe and withering criticism over the years. It's a testament to Murray's courage, integrity, and intellectual honesty that he stuck to his guns and pursued his research and intellectual interest, often paying a pretty high price in his professional career.

"Coming Apart" is intended as Murray's valedictory. It's a book that crowns his professional career, recapitulates certain points and topics that have long been at the center of his interest, and offers his views of what the future may hold - both for the society and for the research into these issues. It is also a sequel of sorts to "Losing Ground", Murray's seminal 1980s book that explored the consequences (intended and unintended) of various welfare policies between the 1960s and 1980s. That book has pretty much launched Murray's career as a public intellectual, making his influence well beyond the academic and scholarly circles. "Coming Apart" explores the consequences of those same policies over the period of another thirty years of their implementation, ending roughly around the year 2010.

The first two parts of the book are primarily scholarly and descriptive. Here Murray lays down the facts in a very straightforward and informative way. He has always been incredibly adroit at presenting even the most arcane social science data in a way that makes them seem almost effortlessly intuitive.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rodney Lover on July 27 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent read. Murray tells the story of America through data. Full of insights and charts - quite enjoyed it...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Richard McCallum on Jan. 9 2013
Format: Hardcover
A stark and disturbing picture of the growing class divide in the US -- between an affluent, educated elite and an increasingly dysfunctional and desperate underclass.

While Murray's analysis of the problem is compelling, his libertarian politics don't allow him to suggest any meaningful solutions. He shares this dilemma with the vast majority of his fellow Americans – rich and poor. As a nation, they prize individual freedom as a fundamental legacy of the pioneers and founding fathers. Their belief system continues to preclude the kind of social democracy and state intervention that has levelled the class playing field in western Europe.

Murray acknowledges the European alternative, but dismisses it as mere statism – godless and corrosive of the human spirit. His views are far too parochial for so complex a subject.
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