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Coming Apart

The State of White America, 1960-2010
Murray, Charles A. (Book - 2012 )
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Coming Apart
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A critique of the white American class structure argues that the paths of social mobility that once advanced the nation are now serving to further isolate an elite upper class while enforcing a growing and resentful white underclass.
Authors: Murray, Charles A.
Title: Coming apart
the state of white America, 1960-2010
Publisher: New York [N.Y.] : Crown Forum, c2012.
Edition: 1st ed.
Characteristics: viii, 407 p. :,ill., maps, charts ;,24 cm.
Contents: Prologue : November 21, 1963. The formation of a new upper class. Our kind of people
The foundations of the new upper class
A new kind of segregation
How thick is your bubble?
The bright side of the new upper class. The formation of a new lower class. The founding virtues
Belmont and Fishtown
Marriage
Industriousness
Honesty
Religiosity
The real Fishtown
The size of the new lower class. Why it matters. The selective collapse of American community
The founding virtues and the stuff of life
One nation, divisible
Alternative futures.
Summary: A critique of the white American class structure argues that the paths of social mobility that once advanced the nation are now serving to further isolate an elite upper class while enforcing a growing and resentful white underclass.
Local Note: 1 6 15 16 17 18 29 53 57 60 74 76 79 80 118 133 138 143 148 149 150 151 159 160 172 173 175 188 193 198 210 211 216 222 226 231 242 243 244 245 264
ISBN: 9780307453426
0307453421
Statement of Responsibility: Charles Murray
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 358-398) and index.
Subject Headings: Whites United States Social conditions. Whites United States Economic conditions. United States Social conditions 1960-1980. United States Social conditions 1980- United States Economic conditions 1945- Social classes United States. Social mobility United States.
Topical Term: Whites
Whites
Social classes
Social mobility
LCCN: 2011501987
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Oct 31, 2012
  • tsawwassen rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Charles Murray paints a very disturbing picture of a growing underclass in America which is brutally honest.

When you look at the mass media you see an actual glorification of this underclass everywhere that would have been unthinkable even twenty years ago.

Two TV shows come to mind.

Shameless (US version) and Sons of Anarchy.

Sons of Anarchy is nothing more than the glorification of a criminal biker gang that deals in drugs, extortion, and murder on an almost daily basis.

The moral universe here has been turned upside down because these criminals are portrayed as somehow noble and in the end they get away with their nefarious behaviour and are triumphant in it.

Can you seriously see this on TV in America at any other time in it's history.

On this dimension Murray is totally accurate.

One criticism of Murray however is that he sees America from the distorted prism of the Ivy League, specifically Harvard University.

In one section of the book he talks about visiting a box factory many years ago and being amazed at the complex machines and organization of the place.

He then goes on to say that he has never been in a factory or blue collar setting before or since.

His perception of the world is distorted from his ivy tower.

How does he think that food ends up on his table, and does he consider the vastly complex manufacturing and supply lines that give him every consumer good imaginable from his view over the commons of Harvard University.

Business Administration was clearly not his major.

Oct 26, 2012
  • delfon rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/12/books/review/charles-murray-examines-the-white-working-class-in-coming-apart.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

This is a book about white America? seriously! This is a whole book about an issue without a solution? So what is the point/

Oct 16, 2012
  • megaculpa rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

A stark and disturbing picture of the growing class divide in the US -- between an affluent, educated elite and an increasingly dysfunctional and desperate underclass. While Murray's analysis of the problem is compelling, his libertarian politics don't allow him to suggest any meaningful solutions.

He shares this dilemma with the vast majority of his fellow Americans – rich and poor. As a nation, they prize individual freedom as a fundamental legacy of the pioneers and founding fathers. Their belief system continues to preclude the kind of social democracy and state intervention that has levelled the class playing field in western Europe. Murray acknowledges the European alternative, but dismisses it as mere statism – godless and corrosive of the human spirit.

Sep 26, 2012
  • danielestes rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Coming Apart shines an uncomfortable spotlight on the deep-rooted and often controversial problem of social class in 21st century America.

Contrasted here are two distinct lifestyles, the super-affluent and the impoverished under-class, and their differences are a lot more complicated than a simple widening of the income inequality gap. This disparity of social (and physical) separation is greater than ever. And note that the author specifically focuses on white Caucasians because the sample size from both groups is large enough for accurate statistical comparison.

The findings, illustrated through a series of charts and graphs, are disheartening, but should not be too surprising. Some would argue this is a result of not investing enough time and money into eradicating poverty, but I no longer believe that's the correct action. Fixing a problem like this will require something more—a fundamental shift in attitude and character of the citizenry. I'm not sure what this would look like or if it's even possible.

Jul 29, 2012
  • scathing_haiku rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

Replete with cheeky quiz to see if you're a gritty, hard-working American, or a college-educated snob! Remember the Golden Age of the Fifties when everyone in America was a big happy family? That's my takeaway. This book is earnest its analysis, and he's taking the issues of class tension and social mobility seriously, but Murray can't help himself from prodding and oversimplifying in all the most tiring ways.

Apr 02, 2012
  • JoeClay rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Dr Murray offers an interesting look at the status of our society as it functions today. After having been vilified for being inclusive in the exploration of intelligence in his previous book, THE BELL CURVE, he limits himself to only one race in COMING APART.
It appears he has done an excellent job of identifying the failures that are becoming more prevalent in society and one only has to spend a few hours of watching 'reality' tv to realize how cogent this book is. I found his recommendations providing amazing insight and expertise on remedying what could be a dire future.

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Version pocillo (pocillo) Last updated 2014/08/29 09:56