Janesville: An American Story by Amy Goldstein

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Janesville: An American Story Read 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


Trish rated it ★★★☆☆

March 11, 2018

This must have been a difficult book to write. Goldstein almost succeeds in giving us a 360⚬ view of the deindustrialization of one Wisconsin city—Janesville, Paul Ryan’s home town—but the effect is oddly muted. In trying to describe the city’s fortunes in a strictly nonpartisan way, she unfortun...

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...

The Pfaeffle Journal (Diane) rated it ★★★★☆

December 16, 2017

Janesville was devastated by the closing of the General Motors plant in December 2008. Amy Goldstein's book takes us through the five years following the plant closure. Janesville survived the loss of the plant and all of the supporting industries but it never finally recovered. It was refreshing...

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...

Dan rated it ★★★★☆

February 13, 2018

With some reservations this is a book that everyone should read. The author took leave from the Washington Post to research this book and moved to Janesville. The book is a vivid and heart wrenching assessment covering six years of the manufacturing town in Wisconsin. The reporting occurs after G...

Tiffany rated it ★★★★☆

August 02, 2017

Full disclosure: I received this book in a giveaway from Goodreads. Also, I grew up mostly in Janesville and attended Blackhawk Tech, moving away from Janesville for the last time in 1998. This book sent me back through a lot of old feelings about "plant rats," as non-GM workers called the GM wor...

Thomas Ray rated it ★★☆☆☆

March 11, 2018

Details what happened to many of the people of Janesville WI when the General Motors plant closed in 2008. Far too little on why it /shouldn't've/ happened. GM went bankrupt, was allowed to leave the rest of us paying the consequences of its bad bets, close 15 plants. And let Wisconsin, Tennessee,...

Sam Johnson 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...

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...

Athan rated it ★★★★★

January 05, 2018

I work in Finance and as I’m reviewing “Janesville” this Friday, January 5, 2018, it happens to be Nonfarm Payrolls day, the day of the month when most pundits on CNBC and Bloomberg TV have ritually argued for quite some time now that the Fed’s low interest rates have led the economy to full empl...

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