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Extended Audio Sample Losing Our Way: An Intimate Portrait of a Troubled America Audiobook, by Bob Herbert Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Bob Herbert Narrator: Bob Herbert Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2014 ISBN: 9780804193566
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In a searing indictment of America’s decline, former New York Times columnist Bob Herbert profiles struggling Americans—casualties of decades of government policies that have produced underemployment, inequality, and pointless wars—and offers a ringing call to arms to restore justice and the American dream.

The United States needs to be reimagined. Once described by Lincoln as the last best hope on earth, the country seemed on the verge of fulfilling its immense promise in the mid-1960s and early 1970s: unemployment was low, wages and profits were high, and the nation’s wealth—by today’s standards—was distributed in a remarkably equitable fashion. America was a society confident that it could bring a middle-class standard of living (at the very least) and the full rights of citizenship to virtually everyone. This sense of possibility has evaporated. In this book longtime New York Times columnist Bob Herbert combines devastating stories of suffering Americans with keen political analysis to show where decades of corporate greed, political apathy, and short-term thinking have led: America’s infrastructure is crumbling, our schools fail our children, unnecessary wars maim our young men, and underemployment plagues a generation. He traces how the United States went wrong, exposing the slow, dangerous shift of political influence from the working population in the 1960s to the corporate and financial elite today, who act largely in their own self-interest. But the situation isn’t entirely hopeless. Herbert argues that by tapping the creative ideas of people across the country who are implementing solutions at the local level, the middle class can reassert its power, put the economy back on track, and usher in a new progressive era.

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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.