Synopses & Reviews
In the bestselling tradition of Hillbilly Elegy, the acclaimed bestseller than explains why white America has become fractured and divided in education and class
In Coming Apart, Charles Murray explores the formation of American classes that are different in kind from anything we have ever known, focusing on whites as a way of driving home the fact that the trends he describes do not break along lines of race or ethnicity.
Drawing on five decades of statistics and research, Coming Apart demonstrates that a new upper class and a new lower class have diverged so far in core behaviors and values that they barely recognize their underlying American kinship divergence that has nothing to do with income inequality and that has grown during good economic times and bad.
The top and bottom of white America increasingly live in different cultures, Murray argues, with the powerful upper class living in enclaves surrounded by their own kind, ignorant about life in mainstream America, and the lower class suffering from erosions of family and community life that strike at the heart of the pursuit of happiness. That divergence puts the success of the American project at risk.
The evidence in Coming Apart is about white America. Its message is about all of America."
About the Author
CHARLES MURRAY is the W. H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. He first came to national attention in 1984 with Losing Ground. His subsequent books include In Pursuit, The Bell Curve (with Richard J. Herrnstein), What It Means to Be a Libertarian, Human Accomplishment, In Our Hands, and Real Education. He received a bachelor’s degree in history from Harvard and a Ph.D. in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He lives with his wife in Burkittsville, Maryland.
Table of Contents
Prologue: November 21, 1963
The Formation of a New Upper Class
1. Our Kind of People
2. The Foundations of the New Upper Class
3. A New Kind of Segregation
4. How Thick Is Your Bubble?
5. The Bright Side of the New Upper Class
The Formation of a New Lower Class
6. The Founding Virtues
7. Belmont and Fishtown
12. The Real Fishtown
13. The Size of the New Lower Class
Why It Matters
14. The Selective Collapse of American Community
15. The Founding Virtues and the Stuff of Life
16. One Nation, Divisible
17. Alternative Futures
Appendix A: Data Sources and Presentation
Appendix B: Supplemental Material for the Segregation Chapter
Appendix C: Supplemental Material for the Chapter on Belmont and
Appendix D: Supplemental Material for the Marriage Chapter
Appendix E: Supplemental Material for the Honesty Chapter
Appendix F: Supplemental Material for the American Community
Appendix G: Supplemental Material for the Chapter About the Founding
Virtues and the Stuff of Life