Synopses & Reviews
In this groundbreaking work of social journalism, a spotlight is cast on a population we find it easy, or convenient, to overlook.
"While the national economy has been growing, the economic prospects of most Americans have been dimming," William Finnegan writes.
"A new American class structure is being born--one that is harsher, in many ways, than the one it is replacing.
Some people are thriving in it, of course. This book is about some families who are not. More particularly, it's about their children who are teenagers
and young adults, about their lives and times, how they speak and act as they try to find their way in this cold new world.
Finnegan spent time with families in four communities across America and became an intimate observer of the lives revealed in these beautifully
rendered portraits: A fifteen-year-old drug dealer in blighted New Haven, Connecticut. A sleepy Texas town transformed when crack arrives.
Mexican American teenagers in Washington State, unable to relate to their immigrant parents and trying to find an identity in gangs. Jobless young white
supremacists in a downwardly mobile L.A. suburb.
This is a book about race, class, and social change that never loses sight of its subjects' humanity. The kids in these pages are complex,
multifaceted individuals, alternately sympathetic and frustrating, as richly drawn and compelling as characters in a novel. At the same time,
Finnegan's journalism goes beyond reportage as he lays bare the economic trends and political decisions that have created this harsher America--
a country where inequality and cultural alienation grow at a dangerous pace. Important, powerful, and compassionate, Cold New World gives us an
unforgettable look into a present that presages our future.
About the Author
William Finnegan has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1987. He is the author of A Complicated War: The Harrowing of Mozambique; Dateline Soweto: Travels with Black South African Reporters; and Crossing the Line: A Year in the Land of Apartheid, which was named one of the ten best nonfiction books of 1986 by The New York Times Book Review. He was a National Magazine Award finalist in both 1990 and 1995. He lives in New York City with his wife.