Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope

Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope

The Pulitzer Prize-winning authors of the acclaimed, best-selling Half the Sky now issue a plea--deeply personal and told through the lives of real Americans--to address the crisis in working-class America, while focusing on solutions to mend a half century of governmental failure.

With stark poignancy and political dispassion, Tightrope draws us deep into an "other America." The authors tell this story, in part, through the lives of some of the children with whom Kristof grew up, in rural Yamhill, Oregon, an area that prospered for much of the twentieth century but has been devastated in the last few decades as blue-collar jobs disappeared. About one-quarter of the children on Kristof's old school bus died in adulthood from drugs, alcohol, suicide, or reckless accidents. And while these particular stories unfolded in one corner of the country, they are representative of many places the authors write about, ranging from the Dakotas and Oklahoma to New York and Virginia. But here too are stories about resurgence, among them: Annette Dove, who has devoted her life to helping the teenagers of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, as they navigate the chaotic reality of growing up poor; Daniel McDowell, of Baltimore, whose tale of opioid addiction and recovery suggests that there are viable ways to solve our nation's drug epidemic. Taken together, these accounts provide a picture of working-class families needlessly but profoundly damaged as a result of decades of policy mistakes. With their superb, nuanced reportage, Kristof and WuDunn have given us a book that is both riveting and impossible to ignore.

Title:Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780525655084
Format Type:

    Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope Reviews

  • Book of the Month

    Why I love itby Dave EggersIn a country that purports to root for the underdog, too often we exalt the rich and we punish the poor. This is an unflinching book that illustrates that central, confoundi...

  • Lisa

    A comprehensive book covering many of the issues confronting Americans: homelessness, inequality, drug addiction, poverty, limited education and access to health care and more. Kristof and WuDunn writ...

  • Camille

    When I saw this book on BOTM, I prepared to bore myself with a "textbook like" analysis of the state of America today. I was presently surprised at how personal the author made the book to his hometow...

  • Ginger

    Im a writer in the margins but I dont think I have EVER written in the margins more than in this bookarguments, agreements, questions.I picked this on a whim from BOTM, and Im glad I did. I devoured i...

  • JEN A

    This book was extremely eye-opening. It gave me a lot to think about with regards to poverty, drugs, obesity, etc in America. I would highly recommend that everybody read this book before the next ele...

  • Jamie

    How do you successfully raise children in these troubled times? A stable home environment seems to be a major factor, increasing the likelihood that they will graduate from high school, avoid drugs, s...

  • Rachel

    I wholeheartedly recommend this book. If ever you wanted an upgrade in your ability empathize, and understand your fellow humans, or insight into how to be of better help, particularly in the United S...

  • Jessica Jeffers

    This hits the nail absolutely on the head....

  • Erin Cataldi

    This book should be required reading. It's insightful, depressing, yet still ultimately hopeful. Pulitzer Prize winning couple write a gut wrenching account of how America has ultimately failed it's p...

  • Cheryl

    This book landed itself in my DNF pile at page 81 at halfway down the page. I do not feel this book is about Americans reaching for hope at all. This book is written by 2 authors who are wanting the U...