Pulitzer Prize-winner Hedrick Smith's new book is an extraordinary achievement, an eye-opening account of how, over the past four decades, we have become two Americas. In his bestselling The Russians
, Smith took millions of readers inside the Soviet Union. In The Power Game
, he took us inside the Beltway, to reveal how the game of politics and policy was played in Washington in the 1980s. Now Smith takes us inside America to show the hidden, long-term process of landmark legislative, electoral and corporate decisions that have transformed us from an era of middle class power and prosperity and effective bipartisan politics to a new era of partisan gridlock, unequal democracy and even more unequal economics that have unraveled the American Dream for millions of middle class families.
As only a veteran reporter can, Smith delves into history and unearths the critical patterns of change – how the New Economy and the New Power Game have created "jobless recoveries" and the gaping inequalities between the 1% and the 99% and dismantled the engine of shared prosperity, the "virtuous circle of growth" in which companies paid workers high wages, the middle class spent its earnings, and robust consumer demand powered the next round of America's growth.
Smith talks to everyone. He tells the stories of Americans high and low. From political leaders like Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, and Martin Luther King Jr., to CEOs such as Al Dunlap, Bob Galvin, and Andy Grove, to heartland Middle Americans such as airline mechanic Pat O’Neill, software systems manager Kristine Serrano, small businessman John Terboss, and sub-contractor Eliseo Guardado, Smith puts a human face on how middle class America and the American Dream have been undermined.
This magnificent work of history and reportage is filled with the penetrating insights, provocative discoveries, and the great empathy of a master journalist. Finally, Smith offers ideas for restoring America's great promise and reclaiming the American Dream.
Hedrick Smith, Pulitzer Prize-winning former New York Times
reporter and editor and Emmy award-winning producer/correspondent, has established himself over the past 50 years of his career as one of America's most distinguished journalists. In 26 years with The New York Times
, Smith covered Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights struggle, the Vietnam War in Saigon, the Middle East conflict from Cairo, the Cold War with stints in both Moscow and Washington, and six American presidents and their administrations. In 1971, as chief diplomatic correspondent, he was a member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning team that produced the Pentagon Papers series. In 1974, he won the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting from Russia and Eastern Europe. Smith has worked for PBS, produced dozens of prime time special reports, and won numerous awards. He is author of The Power Game
and The Russians