Squeezed weaves together intimate reporting with sharp and lively critique to show how the high cost of parenthood and our increasingly unstable job market have imploded the middle-class American Dream for many families, and offers surprising solutions for how we might change things
Families today are squeezed on every side - from high childcare costs and harsh employment policies to workplaces without paid family leave or even dependable and regular working hours. Many realize that attaining the standard of living their parents managed has become impossible.
Alissa Quart, executive editor of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, examines the lives of many middle-class Americans who can now barely afford to raise children. Through gripping firsthand storytelling, Quart shows how our country has failed its families. Her subjects - from professors to lawyers to caregivers to nurses - have been wrung out by a system that doesn't support them, and enriches only a tiny elite.
Interlacing her own experience with close-up reporting on families that are just getting by, Quart reveals parenthood itself to be financially overwhelming, except for the wealthiest. She offers real solutions to these problems, including outlining necessary policy shifts, as well as detailing the DIY tactics some families are already putting into motion, and argues for the cultural reevaluation of parenthood and caregiving.
Written in the spirit of Barbara Ehrenreich and Jennifer Senior, Squeezed is an eye-opening page-turner. Powerfully argued, deeply reported, and ultimately hopeful, it casts a bright, clarifying light on families struggling to thrive in an economy that holds too few options. It will make readers think differently about their lives and those of their neighbors.
By Alexiou, Alice Sparberg
Kevin Baker, author of The Big Crowd: "Devil's Mile is a terrific read. Alice Sparberg Alexiou knows her history, and she brings it all brimming to life here in the story of the Bowery, the most notorious street in America."
A fascinating cultural history of New York City's Bowery, from the author of The Flatiron.
The Bowery was a synonym for despair throughout most of the 20th century. The very name evoked visuals of drunken bums passed out on the sidewalk, and New Yorkers nicknamed it "Satan's Highway," "The Mile of Hell," and "The Street of Forgotten Men." For years the little businesses along the Bowery -- stationers, dry goods sellers, jewelers, hatters -- periodically asked the city to change the street's name. To have a Bowery address, they claimed, was hurting them; people did not want to venture there.
But when New York exploded into real estate frenzy in the 1990s, developers discovered the Bowery. They rushed in and began tearing down. Today, Whole Foods, hipster night spots, and expensive lofts have replaced the old flophouses and dive bars, and the bad old Bowery no longer exists.
In Devil's Mile, Alice Sparberg Alexiou tells the story of The Bowery, starting with its origins, when forests covered the surrounding area, and through the pre-Civil War years, when country estates of wealthy New Yorkers lined this thoroughfare. She then describes The Bowery's deterioration in stunning detail, starting in the post-bellum years. She ends her historical exploration of this famed street in the present, bearing witness as the old Bowery buildings, and the memories associated with them, are disappearing.
St. Martin's Press
The Poisoned City
By Clark, Anna
The first full account of the Flint, Michigan, water scandal, an American tragedy, with new details, from Anna Clark, the award-winning Michigan journalist who has covered the story from its beginnings
When the people of Flint, Michigan, turned on their faucets in April 2014, the water pouring out was poisoned with lead and other toxins. Through a series of disastrous decisions, the state government had switched the city's water to a source that corroded Flint's aging lead pipes. Complaints about the foul-smelling water were dismissed: the residents of Flint -- a largely poor African American city of about 100,000 people -- were not seen as credible, even in matters of their own lives.
It took 18 months of activism and a band of dogged outsiders to force the state to admit that the water was poisonous. But this was only after 12 people died and Flint's children suffered irreparable harm. The long battle for accountability and a humane response to this man-made disaster have only just begun.
In the first full-length account of this epic failure, The Poisoned City recounts the gripping story of Flint's poisoned water through the people who caused it, suffered from it, and exposed it. It is a chronicle of one town, but could also be about any American city, all made precarious by the neglect of infrastructure and the erosion of democratic decision-making. Cities like Flint are set up to fail -- and for the people who live and work in them, the consequences may be mortal.
By Ambinder, Marc
The incredible story of the 1983 war game that triggered a tense, brittle period of nuclear brinkmanship between the United States and the former Soviet Union.
What happened in 1983 to make the Soviet Union so afraid of a potential nuclear strike from the United States that they sent mobile ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles) into the field, placing them on a three-minute alert?
Marc Ambinder explains the anxious period between the United States and the Soviet Union from 1982 to 1984, with the "Able Archer '83" war game as the fulcrum of the tension. With astonishing and clarifying new details, he recounts the scary series of the close encounters that tested the limits of ordinary humans and powerful leaders alike. Ambinder explains how political leadership ultimately triumphed over misunderstandings, helping the two countries maintain a fragile peace.
Ambinder provides a comprehensive and chilling account of the nuclear command and control process, from intelligence warnings to the composition of the nuclear codes themselves. And he affords glimpses into the secret world of a preemptive electronic attack that scared the Soviet Union into action. Ambinder's account reads like a thriller, recounting the spy-versus-spy games that kept both countries - and the world - in check.
From geopolitics in Moscow and Washington, to sweat-caked soldiers fighting in the trenches of the Cold War, to high-stakes war games across NATO and the Warsaw Pact, The Brink serves as the definitive intelligence, nuclear, and national security history of one of the most precarious times in recent memory.
Simon & Schuster
By Vincent, Lynn
For the first time, thanks to years of original research and new reporting, two acclaimed authors deliver the riveting and emotionally wrenching full story of the worst sea disaster in United States naval history: the sinking of the USS Indianapolis during World War II - and the fifty-year fight to exonerate the captain after a wrongful court martial.
Although the USS Indianapolis was the victorious flagship of the largest fleet ever to sail the face of the earth, her story has been reduced to a sinking tale. Now, though, #1 New York Times bestselling author and investigative journalist Lynn Vincent has teamed with documentary filmmaker and National Geographic historian Sara Vladic to tell the complete story for the first time. This sweeping saga of survival, justice, love, and sacrifice weaves through generations of American presidents, from Roosevelt and Truman in 1945 to Clinton and George W. Bush in the modern day, culminating in backroom deals in the halls of Congress.
Indianapolis and her crew led the WWII Pacific fleet from Pearl Harbor to the islands of Japan, notching an unbroken string of victories in an uncharted theater of war. When the time came for President Harry Truman to deal Japan the decisive blow, Indianapolis answered the call, delivering the world's first atomic bomb to the Pacific in the most highly classified naval mission of the war. Four days later, two Japanese torpedoes sank her. Indianapolis's story then became not only an epic tale of survival for the 1,196 men aboard - only 317 would live - but also the tale of three captains whose lives would be forever entwined: Charles McVay, who was wrongly court martialed for the sinking; Mochitsura Hashimoto, the Japanese sub commander who sank Indianapolis but later joined the fight to exonerate McVay; and William Toti, captain of the modern-day submarine, Indianapolis, who helped the survivors win their fight to vindicate their captain.
Based on new primary sources and interviews with 108 survivors, Vincent and Vladic reveal the untold stories of the crew left adrift for five days in the Philippine Sea as they battled dehydration, sharks, insanity, and each other; the Army spy who shepherded the bomb aboard Indianapolis; the hidden history of the Top Secret ULTRA program that could have saved the ship; and the survivors' fifty-year fight for justice. In this powerfully emotional account - unfolding against the larger war and the historic actions of titans of the era - the USS Indianapolis and its heroic crew come to full, vivid, unforgettable life.
Simon & Schuster
The Lost Indictment of Robert E. Lee
By Reeves, John
History has been kind to Robert E. Lee. Woodrow Wilson believed General Lee was a "model to men who would be morally great." Douglas Southall Freeman, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his four-volume biography of Lee, described his subject as "one of a small company of great men in whom there is no inconsistency to be explained, no enigma to be solved." Winston Churchill called him "one of the noblest Americans who ever lived." Until recently, there was even a stained glass window devoted to Lee's life at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
Immediately after the Civil War, however, many northerners believed Lee should be hanged for treason and war crimes. Americans will be surprised to learn that in June of 1865 Robert E. Lee was indicted for treason by a Norfolk, Virginia grand jury. In his instructions to the grand jury, Judge John C. Underwood described treason as "wholesale murder," and declared that the instigators of the rebellion had "hands dripping with the blood of slaughtered innocents." In early 1866, Lee decided against visiting friends while in Washington, D.C. for a congressional hearing, because he was conscious of being perceived as a "monster" by citizens of the nation's capital. Yet somehow, roughly fifty years after his trip to Washington, Lee had been transformed into a venerable American hero, who was highly regarded by southerners and northerners alike. Almost a century after Appomattox, Dwight D. Eisenhower had Lee's portrait on the wall of his White House office.
The Lost Indictment of Robert E. Lee tells the story of the forgotten legal and moral case that was made against the Confederate general after the Civil War. The actual indictment went missing for 72 years. Over the past 150 years, the indictment against Lee after the war has both literally and figuratively disappeared from our national consciousness. In this book, Civil War historian John Reeves illuminates the incredible turnaround in attitudes towards the defeated general by examining the evolving case against him from 1865 to 1870 and beyond.
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
The Price of Greatness
By Cost, Jay
An incisive account of the tumultuous relationship between Alexander Hamilton and James Madison and of the origins of our wealthy yet highly unequal nation In the history of American politics there are few stories as enigmatic as that of Alexander Hamilton and James Madison's bitterly personal falling out. Together they helped bring the Constitution into being, yet soon after the new republic was born they broke over the meaning of its founding document. Hamilton emphasized economic growth, Madison the importance of republican principles. Jay Cost is the first to argue that both men were right--and that their quarrel reveals a fundamental paradox at the heart of the American experiment. He shows that each man in his own way came to accept corruption as a necessary cost of growth. The Price of Greatness reveals the trade-off that made the United States the richest nation in human history, and that continues to fracture our politics to this day.
By Selee, Andrew
A nuanced, story-driven narrative about the deeply intertwined business and cultural relationship between the United States and Mexico, and the need to tear down, rather than fortify, wallsA certain narrative about the relationship between the United States and Mexico has taken shape over the last twenty years. Many believe that our trade and immigration policies have undercut American labor, and that Mexico itself is a place where drugs and violence are rampant. They believe that these two countries, living side by side, are about as different as can be. But as Andrew Selee shows, the demographics, economics, politics, and culture of these two countries have more in common than meets the eye.Vanishing Frontiers is the story of the cultural and economic intertwining of these two countries.
New Dark Age
By Bridle, James
As the world around us increases in technological complexity, our understanding of it diminishes. Underlying this trend is a single idea: the belief that our existence is understandable through computation, and more data is enough to help us build a better world. In actual fact, we are lost in a sea of information, increasingly divided by fundamentalism, simplistic narratives, conspiracy theories, and post-factual politics. Meanwhile, those in power use our lack of understanding to further their own interests. Despite the accessibility of information, we're living in a new Dark Age. From rogue financial systems to shopping algorithms, from artificial intelligence to state secrecy, we no longer understand how our world is governed or presented to us.