This New York Times bestseller by co-founder of the legendary SPY magazine Kurt Andersen details how the United States was once the envy of the world. The “land of opportunity” was relatively egalitarian, democratic, prosperous and promising, Andersen reminds readers. But he goes on to cite America’s rising inequality, convoluted and expensive health care system, and declining competitiveness. Andersen attempts to identify where, when and how America went over the edge – and who pushed it. This entertaining and informative text is a must-read narrative of recent US history.
Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs and Leonardo da Vinci, called this “the one book everyone must read as we figure out how to rebuild our country.” Ken Burns, director of The Civil War, said this “documents how history and nostalgia are engaged in hand-to-hand combat that may determine our future.” Rebecca Carol, host of the Come Through podcast, found this to be “a vivid catalog of American sociopolitical history – a dedicated deep dive into this country’s paradoxical legacy of innovation and ego, with Andersen as its clear-eyed, masterful archivist.”