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Coming Apart: The State of White America,…

Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 (original: 2012; edição: 2012)

de Charles Murray (Autor)

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8092627,458 (3.83)5
A critique of the white American class structure argues that the paths of social mobility that once advanced the nation are now serving to further isolate an elite upper class while enforcing a growing and resentful white underclass.
Título:Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010
Autores:Charles Murray (Autor)
Informação:Crown Forum (2012), Edition: First Edition, 416 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca, Para ler

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Coming Apart de Charles Murray (2012)


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Mostrando 1-5 de 26 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
One of Murray's better books. The point is that some White Americans are dispensing with the cultural background and actions that made America so great and the middle class so good and robust. The result is some people (even liberals) are working hard, marrying before kids, being thrifty, not doing drugs, and the other people are doing the opposite. Murray forgets that computers, robotization, mechanization have changed what we eat, where we live, what we buy by lowering costs dramatically. This changes what some people can buy and have access to. For instance, the idea of "craft beer" and a latte in 1960 is laughable. For 2010, it's what some people want and can get. Point: work hard and be a good person.

Key quote, from page 293: "The new upper class still does a good job of practicing some of the virtues, but it no longer preaches them. It has lost self-confidence in the rightness of its own customs and values, and preaches nonjudgmentalism instead." ( )
  tuckerresearch | Nov 30, 2023 |
There's a lot of interesting data bit it's hard to figure out what the thesis of all the data is. ( )
  Moshepit20 | Oct 1, 2023 |
This was an interesting book for the point of view, which I do not wholly agree with. Then again, that is one reason I picked it up.

Murray has a steep hill to climb, and I do not think he is successful: he puts all his faith in culture/society being able to solve problems, taking a dim view on the effect of economics or the beneficial effect of government. This, together with his apparent view that if we were all just 'better' people then things would be better, makes this hard to believe.

To be sure, he points out some things that I think are worthy of looking at: many, many people are increasingly isolated, we are all strangers, and this fraying of social structure makes life more uncertain, higher risk, and increases unfairness and inequality because social bonds between what would be (or are) different classes are broken.

He makes some uncomfortable assertions that one has to at least consider: if wealth and privileged is (socially) heritable, then so must be poverty and disadvantage; and that -at least in part- is self-perpetuating. A central theme for him is that poor, uneducated people make more poor, uneducated people, without any 'help' from e.g. oppression. Uncomfortable... but reasonable... to an extent. (He *repeatedly* waves off economic causes for just about everything, while once and a while giving it a little nod as something that might have some effect sometimes.)

And then he just skips over things. He discusses falling real earnings, increasing part-time work, decreasing full-time work, dissatisfaction, etc. all within, for the most part, a few tens of pages. But he steadfastly refuses to consider any link between these other than a decay of culture.

I still give it three stars because I do feel like, without being the first, he points out many issues. I read this, to a certain extent, as an antidote to always seeing economics, income disparity, etc. pointed to as the root of all evils. While Murray has not convinced me in the least that society (or a lack of a certain kind of society) is the root of all evil, he does remind me that complex problems have complex causes. ( )
  dcunning11235 | Aug 12, 2023 |
This is an interesting approach to the history of the ever-increasing gap between the elite wealthy and the fading "middle class" in America. The author looks at the changes in social class and society amongst white Americans from 1960-2010. He does not lack in data, and has many references and a bibliography for those who want to examine further the charts and the numbers that he cites. Murray looks at the impact of education, of marriage, and of suburbanization as factors in the increased divide between different white classes. This is cleverly illustrated on the cover as the difference between a champagne glass and a smashed beer can. ( )
  resoundingjoy | Jan 1, 2021 |
A depressing but good book about how the Great Society and other social changes (globalization, change in the nature of work) have had negative consequences for previous "winners" in American society. I don't think it's a particularly complete analysis, but there's plenty to think about. ( )
  octal | Jan 1, 2021 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 26 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
In "Coming Apart," Murray seems to have learned a little bit from the racial controversies that greeted his earlier work. Now he sets out to show how similar forces are at work among white people. But his premise and arguments in this book are no less skewed or more persuasive.
adicionado por lquilter | editarSalon.com, Joan Walsh (Jan 30, 2012)
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A critique of the white American class structure argues that the paths of social mobility that once advanced the nation are now serving to further isolate an elite upper class while enforcing a growing and resentful white underclass.

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