Download Losing Our Way: An Intimate Portrait of a Troubled America Audiobook

Losing Our Way: An Intimate Portrait of a Troubled America Audiobook, by Bob Herbert Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Bob Herbert Narrator: Bob Herbert Publisher: Random House Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2014 ISBN: 9780804193566
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From longtime New York Times columnist Bob Herbert comes a wrenching portrayal of ordinary Americans struggling for survival in a nation that has lost its way In his eighteen years as an opinion columnist for The New York Times, Herbert championed the working poor and the middle class. After filing his last column in 2011, he set off on a journey across the country to report on Americans who were being left behind in an economy that has never fully recovered from the Great Recession. The portraits of those he encountered fuel his new book, Losing Our Way. Herbert’s combination of heartrending reporting and keen political analysis is the purest expression since the Occupy movement of the plight of the 99 percent.      The individuals and families who are paying the price of America’s bad choices in recent decades form the book’s emotional center: an exhausted high school student in Brooklyn who works the overnight shift in a factory at minimum wage to help pay her family’s rent; a twenty-four-year-old soldier from Peachtree City, Georgia, who loses both legs in a misguided, mismanaged, seemingly endless war; a young woman, only recently engaged, who suffers devastating injuries in a tragic bridge collapse in Minneapolis; and a group of parents in Pittsburgh who courageously fight back against the politicians who decimated funding for their children’s schools.      Herbert reminds us of a time in America when unemployment was low, wages and profits were high, and the nation’s wealth, by current standards, was distributed much more equitably. Today, the gap between the wealthy and everyone else has widened dramatically, the nation’s physical plant is crumbling, and the inability to find decent work is a plague on a generation. Herbert traces where we went wrong and spotlights the drastic and dangerous shift of political power from ordinary Americans to the corporate and financial elite. Hope for America, he argues, lies in a concerted push to redress that political imbalance. Searing and unforgettable, Losing Our Way ultimately inspires with its faith in ordinary citizens to take back their true political power and reclaim the American dream. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • ““Losing Our Way” is a brave call to action — not simply to put people back to work, but also to link that work to the necessary interests of an egalitarian society. This means investing in what we’ve catastrophically undervalued: our bridges and highways and tunnels, our public schools, our fellow citizens…The shortsighted policies and unchecked greed that have resulted in the abandonment of the poor are now destroying the middle class, and Herbert remains willing to state, very clearly, what he sees.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Bob Herbert’s new book Losing Our Way: An Intimate Portrait of a Troubled America is one of the most important, most compelling books that I have read in many years. For those of us who have felt that something has gone seriously wrong in our country, Herbert connects the dots. He provides a carefully documented, well-written account of what went wrong and why. As he pulls together a sweeping narrative, he weaves it through the personal accounts of individuals whose stories are emblematic and heartbreaking… It will change you. It will make you want to get involved, take action, make a difference. As [Herbert] says at the end of the book, it doesn’t have to be this way. Changing it depends on us.”

    Huffington Post

  • “Bob Herbert has written an unignorable book. A former columnist for the New York Times, he has brought the same lucidity, passion, and first-hand accuracy to what is wrong in our country. His solution is as unavoidable as it is obvious—we must turn away from greed and apathy in all its forms and think of the good of others and of the nation as a whole.”

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

  • “In a series of haunting portraits, Losing Our Way is an unforgettable reminder of the struggles facing America’s middle class today. Herbert has given us a sweeping picture of what has gone wrong in America—how we have underinvested in infrastructure, let corporate policies dominate the education debate, and fought needless wars that resulted in a tragic waste of life. A brilliant and devastating portrayal that explains how our priorities and policies have gone awry, Losing Our Way will make you angry and determined to put our country back on course.”

    Joseph E. Stiglitz, winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Economics and author of Globalization and Its Discontents

  • “Bob Herbert has written a terrific and important book about America. It is an incisive examination of our nation’s tragic unwillingness to address the overwhelming problems we face. We can’t go forward unless we face reality. Herbert has the courage to do that.”

    Bernie Sanders, US Senator

  • “Herbert ardently defends those being left behind in this current ‘winner-take-all’ economy. As he travels across the US interviewing the jobless and wounded, as well as noted educators, economists, activists, and political leaders…what emerges from his chronicle is a devastating portrait…Herbert ends by urging bold new leadership against an ‘intolerable status quo’ and pointing to encouraging examples of citizen groups rising up across the country.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “In vivid anecdotes and moving portraits, Herbert humanizes the many problems he uncovers, and he clearly believes that Americans can, and will, band together to set the nation on a new course.”

    Kirkus Reviews

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About the Author

Bob Herbert was an opinion columnist for the New York Times from 1993 to 2011. His reportage-based columns focused on race, poverty, and social justice. Before that he was a national correspondent for NBC. He has won numerous awards, including the American Society of Newspaper Editors Award for distinguished newspaper writing. He is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Demos, a public policy think tank in New York City.