Review: Kristof and WuDunn’s Tightrope

Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope

Nicolas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

Maybe you knew that Nicolas Kristof grew up on semi-rural Oregon, and that the vast majority of those he went to high school with are now either dead or in jail, but I didn’t. This book, where Kristof and Wu Dunn use the stories of the community Kristof came from to lay out the decimation of the white working class, and the tragic rise of so-called “deaths of despair” is heartbreaking.

I knew much of what was in here before I read it. My own family has been hit pretty hard by these issues. Indeed, I’ve lost quite a few family members to alcohol and suicide. Seeing it laid out here in the crisp storytelling and statistic put this crisis into sharp relief for me. While the rise of Trump is deeply tied to racism, that racism is deeply tied to this kind of poverty.  Well worth the read, especially if you haven’t thought much about this.

Recommended.

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