Taken from a New York Times series, Class Matters contains 14 stand-alone articles by a team of Times reporters on aspects of social class in the us




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Class matters, by correspondents of ^IThe New York Times^R.  Times Books/H. Holt, 2005.  268p bibl ISBN 0805080554 pbk, $14.00  Taken from a New York Times series, Class Matters contains 14 stand-alone articles by a team of Times reporters on aspects of social class in the US.  Individual chapters, largely told through stories and personal accounts, treat health and medical care, marriage and families, religion, working and neighborhood environments, and mobility--geographic, social, and economic--as experienced by the socioeconomic spectrum (defined by race/ethnicity, income/wealth, heritage, and educational level).  The best essays include chapter 1, an overview punctuated by comments from leading scholars and good data summaries; chapter 12 on the super rich; and chapter 14, the touching, compelling "Angela Whitiker's Climb."  While the prose is decidedly pessimistic, the results of a Times poll that accompanies these essays are quite upbeat: respondents continue to believe in the American Dream as expressed by an assessment of their own current situations and hopes for their children, belief in an economy that still rewards hard work, and the value of religion and community participation.  The authors admit struggling to define class in contemporary society, and this is indeed one shortcoming of the project; but it is worth readers' time to struggle with their efforts. (Choice, May 2006)


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