Janesville: An American Story by Amy Goldstein

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Read Janesville: An American Story Online Free - “Moving and magnificently well-researched...Janesville joins a growing family of books about the evisceration of the working class in the United States. What sets it apart is the sophistication of its storytelling and analysis.” —The New York Times

A Washington Post reporter’s intimate account of the fallout from the closing of a General Motors’ assembly plant in Janesville, Wisconsin—Paul Ryan’s hometown—and a larger story of the hollowing of the American middle class.

This is the story of what happens to an industrial town in the American heartland when its factory stills—but it’s not the familiar tale. Most observers record the immediate shock of vanished jobs, but few stay around long enough to notice what happens next, when a community with a can-do spirit tries to pick itself up.

Pulitzer Prize winner Amy Goldstein has spent years immersed in Janesville, Wisconsin where the nation’s oldest operating General Motors plant shut down in the midst of the Great Recession, two days before Christmas of 2008. Now, with intelligence, sympathy, and insight into what connects and divides people in an era of economic upheaval, she makes one of America’s biggest political issues human. Her reporting takes the reader deep into the lives of autoworkers, educators, bankers, politicians, and job re-trainers to show why it’s so hard in the twenty-first century to recreate a healthy, prosperous working class.

For this is not just a Janesville story or a Midwestern story. It’s an American story.

Title : Janesville: An American Story
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 1501102230
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 368 pages


Jen rated it ★★★★★

February 28, 2017

Amy Goldstein is a Washington Press reporter, and this reads like an extremely long personal interest piece. It follows a handful of Janesville residents from roughly 2007-2016 at a time when many of them felt as if their world was crashing down around them. Cities like Janesville all across Amer...

Rachel rated it ★★★☆☆

June 28, 2017

updated to include some information the author missed in her telling (last 3 paragraphs). I started reading this because I grew up near Janesville and my father-in-law's job was related to GM. He passed away before the layoffs of this book. Growing up we'd drive 20 minutes to Janesville to see a m...

Rachel rated it ★★★★☆

June 21, 2017

This is a solid 4-star book. It was what I was hoping "Glass House" was going to be but wasn't. Despite what my profile says, I live in Fort Wayne so I felt a geographic connection to the storyline for the GM gypsies and the descriptions about Fort Wayne although limited were accurate. Like the c...

Siv30 rated it ★★★★★

October 15, 2017

במשך 85 שנים, ג'אנסוויל היתה עיר היצור של ג'נרל מוטורס שבה ייצרו את השברולט. במפעל הועסקו מאות מתושבי העיר שהצליחה לשגשג ולהיות בית למשפחות מעמד הביניים שמימשו את החלום האמריקאי. אבל יום אחד, בשנת 2008, החלום האמריקאי הזה מתנפץ, כשהמפעל נסגר ואלפי משפחות איבדו את מקור פרנסתן. "Keeping up appearanc...

Monica rated it ★★★★★

June 29, 2017

Wow. Such a great, multifaceted account of what happened in Janesville. Super easy to read and the people are so interesting.

Daniel rated it ★★★★☆

June 14, 2017

Sometimes, at the library, I’ll pick up a book at random based solely on the cover or the title and start reading it, ignoring the dust jacket and blurbs on the back. That’s what I did with Janesville—and I’m so glad I did. Were I asked, “Want to read a book about a town in Wisconsin that suffere...

The Pfaeffle Journal rated it ★★★★★

May 06, 2017

This is a great book, very well done. I highly recommend it.

Rick rated it ★★★★☆

May 17, 2017

“Janesville: An American Story” by Washington Post journalist Amy Goldstein is a thought-provoking tale of the closing of the major employer in a city of roughly 60,000 and the economic disaster that resulted. The linchpin of the story is the closing of the Janesville, Wisconsin General Motors as...

Robert rated it ★★★★☆

May 21, 2017

Amy Goldstein's Janesville, An American Story reports on the anguish of modest American dreams gasping their last in the hometown of the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan. Janesville, Wisconsin, once was a manufacturing town. Parker Pen originated there (and was shuttered there). GM built cars and...

Michael rated it ★★★★★

May 04, 2017

Last week I learned about a new book by Washington Post journalist Amy Goldstein called Janesville: An American Story, an ethnographic story of the fallout of the closing of what had been the longest operating GM plant in the nation, Janesville, Wisconsin. The Janesville plant closed in December...

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