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{ "item_title" : "The Sum of Us", "item_author" : [" Heather McGhee "], "item_description" : "NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD - One of today's most insightful and influential thinkers offers a powerful exploration of inequality and the lesson that generations of Americans have failed to learn: Racism has a cost for everyone--not just for people of color. WINNER OF THE PORCHLIGHT BUSINESS BOOK AWARD - ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Time, The Washington Post, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Ms. magazine, BookRiot, Library Journal This is the book I've been waiting for.--Ibram X. Kendi, #1 New York Times bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist Look for the author's new podcast, The Sum of Us, based on this book Heather McGhee's specialty is the American economy--and the mystery of why it so often fails the American public. From the financial crisis of 2008 to rising student debt to collapsing public infrastructure, she found a root problem: racism in our politics and policymaking. But not just in the most obvious indignities for people of color. Racism has costs for white people, too. It is the common denominator of our most vexing public problems, the core dysfunction of our democracy and constitutive of the spiritual and moral crises that grip us all. But how did this happen? And is there a way out? McGhee embarks on a deeply personal journey across the country from Maine to Mississippi to California, tallying what we lose when we buy into the zero-sum paradigm--the idea that progress for some of us must come at the expense of others. Along the way, she meets white people who confide in her about losing their homes, their dreams, and their shot at better jobs to the toxic mix of American racism and greed. This is the story of how public goods in this country--from parks and pools to functioning schools--have become private luxuries; of how unions collapsed, wages stagnated, and inequality increased; and of how this country, unique among the world's advanced economies, has thwarted universal healthcare. But in unlikely places of worship and work, McGhee finds proof of what she calls the Solidarity Dividend: the benefits we gain when people come together across race to accomplish what we simply can't do on our own. The Sum of Us is not only a brilliant analysis of how we arrived here but also a heartfelt message, delivered with startling empathy, from a black woman to a multiracial America. It leaves us with a new vision for a future in which we finally realize that life can be more than a zero-sum game. LONGLISTED FOR THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL", "item_img_path" : "https://covers2.booksamillion.com/covers/bam/0/52/550/956/0525509569_b.jpg", "price_data" : { "retail_price" : "28.00", "online_price" : "28.00", "our_price" : "28.00", "club_price" : "28.00", "savings_pct" : "0", "savings_amt" : "0.00", "club_savings_pct" : "0", "club_savings_amt" : "0.00", "discount_pct" : "10", "store_price" : "28.00" } }
The Sum of Us|Heather McGhee
The Sum of Us : What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together
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Overview

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD - One of today's most insightful and influential thinkers offers a powerful exploration of inequality and the lesson that generations of Americans have failed to learn: Racism has a cost for everyone--not just for people of color.

WINNER OF THE PORCHLIGHT BUSINESS BOOK AWARD - ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Time, The Washington Post, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Ms. magazine, BookRiot, Library Journal

"This is the book I've been waiting for."--Ibram X. Kendi, #1 New York Times bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist

Look for the author's new podcast, The Sum of Us, based on this book

Heather McGhee's specialty is the American economy--and the mystery of why it so often fails the American public. From the financial crisis of 2008 to rising student debt to collapsing public infrastructure, she found a root problem: racism in our politics and policymaking. But not just in the most obvious indignities for people of color. Racism has costs for white people, too. It is the common denominator of our most vexing public problems, the core dysfunction of our democracy and constitutive of the spiritual and moral crises that grip us all. But how did this happen? And is there a way out?

McGhee embarks on a deeply personal journey across the country from Maine to Mississippi to California, tallying what we lose when we buy into the zero-sum paradigm--the idea that progress for some of us must come at the expense of others. Along the way, she meets white people who confide in her about losing their homes, their dreams, and their shot at better jobs to the toxic mix of American racism and greed. This is the story of how public goods in this country--from parks and pools to functioning schools--have become private luxuries; of how unions collapsed, wages stagnated, and inequality increased; and of how this country, unique among the world's advanced economies, has thwarted universal healthcare.

But in unlikely places of worship and work, McGhee finds proof of what she calls the Solidarity Dividend: the benefits we gain when people come together across race to accomplish what we simply can't do on our own. The Sum of Us is not only a brilliant analysis of how we arrived here but also a heartfelt message, delivered with startling empathy, from a black woman to a multiracial America. It leaves us with a new vision for a future in which we finally realize that life can be more than a zero-sum game.

LONGLISTED FOR THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL

  • ISBN-13: 9780525509561
  • ISBN-10: 0525509569
  • Publisher: One World
  • Publish Date: February 2021
  • Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.65 pounds
  • Page Count: 448

The Sum of Us

Why can’t we have nice things? Depending on your lot in life, you may ponder this from time to time. Things like easy access to health care, fair public utilities, unions that provide job security and protect worker rights—these are all societal gains that many other nations have achieved. So why can’t the United States, the wealthiest nation on the planet, provide these and other amenities to every citizen?

This is the question that Heather McGee, former director of the think tank Demos, asks in The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together. She ably moves through some of the largest infrastructural deficiencies in the U.S. and explains how a zero-sum mindset, combined with the constant plague of systemic racism, have led to fewer amenities for all.

McGhee’s anecdotes about the past read like cautionary parables for the future. For instance, throughout the 1920s, the Works Progress Administration built hundreds of public swimming pools across the nation to provide relief from the summer sun. But after federal courts ruled that segregated swimming was unconstitutional, many cities opted to fill their grandest pools with concrete rather than allow Black swimmers to use them. And so no one got relief from the heat.

McGhee unpacks how this kind of thinking shows up in every sector of society. Businesses have stoked racial mistrust to divide unions in their factories, using social capital to turn workers against collective bargaining. Years of accumulated racial resentment have kneecapped attempts to provide universal healthcare coverage, from Harry Truman’s era to Barack Obama’s. State-subsidized college tuition and affordable housing were vilified as handouts for the undeserving poor, which led to absurdly high tuition rates and the housing market crash of 2008.

Supported by remarkable data-driven research and thoughtful interviews with those directly affected by these issues, McGhee paints a powerful picture of the societal shortfalls all around us. There is a greater, more just America available to us, and McGhee brings its potential to light.