Monday, April 23, 2012
Book Review - Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010
In Coming Apart, Charles Murray explores the formation of American classes that are different in kind from anything we have ever known, focusing on whites as a way of driving home the fact that the trends he describes do not break along lines of race or ethnicity.
Drawing on five decades of statistics and research, Coming Apart demonstrates that a new upper class and a new lower class have diverged so far in core behaviors and values that they barely recognize their underlying American kinship—divergence that has nothing to do with income inequality and that has grown during good economic times and bad.
The top and bottom of white America increasingly live in different cultures, Murray argues, with the powerful upper class living in enclaves surrounded by their own kind, ignorant about life in mainstream America, and the lower class suffering from erosions of family and community life that strike at the heart of the pursuit of happiness. That divergence puts the success of the American project at risk.
The evidence in Coming Apart is about white America. Its message is about all of America.
My Take on the Book
This book was one that opened my eyes to the different classes in America and what made these classes come to be. Being that I was somewhat isolated to the class system growing up I can say that I did not know much of what was in this book. Once I got into the book I found it hard to put the book down. While I say this, I was not 100% sold on all of the assertions that the author makes, but I will say that the author does an amazing job at making his points clear to his readers. His points were clear and informative and as a reader I found myself wanting to read more!
For anyone with any type of interest in sociology or in the idea of class, this is definitely a book that I would highly recommend to all. You may not agree with every point, but you will leave the reading of this book with many new ideas in your mind!
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
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