Nieman Reports, “A Gripping History…”

A gripping history of the 40 years since wealth started falling up

By Dan Froomkin

“Who Stole the American Dream? The short answer….is: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Wal-Mart. But the longer answer is one heck of a story, told by one of the great journalists of our time. In his sweeping, authoritative examination of the ¬†last four decades of the American economic experience, Smith describes the long, relentless decline of the middle class – a decline that was not by accident, but by design. He dates it back to a private memo – in effect, a political call to arms – issued to the nation’s business leaders in 1971 by Lewis F. Powell, Jr., a corporate attorney soon to become a Supreme Court Justice….Smith’s extraordinary clarity in describing this sometimes obscured narrative arc evidently emerges form his sense of journalistic outrage. he sees a country splitting into two, divided by a vast wealth gap. He sees the social fabric of the nation tearing. He wants to make it better.”

See the entire review here, as first published in the Fall 2012 edition of Nieman Reports.

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