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Someplace Like America: Tales from the New Great Depression

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4.33  ·  Rating Details  ·  119 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
In Someplace Like America, writer Dale Maharidge and photographer Michael S. Williamson take us to the working-class heart of America, bringing to life—through shoe leather reporting, memoir, vivid stories, stunning photographs, and thoughtful analysis—the deepening crises of poverty and homelessness. The story begins in 1980, when the authors joined forces to cover the Am ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published June 6th 2011 by University of California Press (first published May 2nd 2011)
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Florence Millo
Mar 06, 2012 Florence Millo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dale Maharidge and photographer Michael Williamson have chronicled for 40 years the demise of the American middle class. Their previous books, Journey to Nowhere, And Their Children after Them, The Last American Hobo, and Homeland are extensively excerpted into this book and several lives are followed from decade to decade. My main criticism is that too much of the book is exerpted from previous books. Since I had not read the previous books, I found it of interest but it a condensed version fro ...more
Karol
Jan 19, 2012 Karol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Dale Maharidge was my spring seminar professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He had won a Pulitzer in Nonfiction the year before for his book, And Their Children After Them, for following up on James Agee and Walker Evans's Depression-era families who never escaped poverty. His latest book is a tribute to his dedication to documenting homelessness and the working poor for three decades. After grad school, I spent four years covering the Bronx and poverty was only part ...more
Nancy
Jun 30, 2015 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful book! I have read "And Their Children After Them" also by Maharidge & Williamson, and this collaboration by the two of them didn't disappoint. Despite the ongoing financial problems in the US, many people do not realize how rough some people have it, and the book with it's amazing pictures gives you a portrait of the bleakness that certain families are enduring. This book is eye-opening & thought provoking, and I would recommend it greatly.
Chris Lira
Jul 27, 2013 Chris Lira rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a pretty good read. I am quite a ways away from the author politically, but I think he made a lot of good points about where our country is headed and I appreciated his perspective. The pictures are quite haunting.
David Gallin-Parisi
Mar 25, 2012 David Gallin-Parisi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: photobook
What starts out as a mess of a book becomes incredibly informative, emotional, and worrisome. Journalist Dale Maharidge and photographer Michael S. Williamson have documented America's poor for thirty years. This book stands as a tour of duty through poverty, economic collapse, job loss, homelessness, and how people in America are affected over the long-term. The book starts in 1982 and follows peoples' stories through 2011. Hence the messiness of the book. What possible way is there to trace th ...more
Blane
Words cannot possibly do justice to the importance of this book...but I will try. By following up on several of the heart-wrenching stories he first presented in his 1985/1996 book, 'Journey To Nowhere', Maharidge & photographer Michael S. Williamson have crafted a work of journalistic brilliance that harkens back to the best fictional work of Steinbeck, but is, for better or worse, 100 percent non-fictional. Thirty years on, readers are re-introduced to the failed rust-belt city of Youngsto ...more
Alexander
Jul 05, 2011 Alexander rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definitely one of the most important books I've ever read and a sobering one at that. Nevertheless, this book is one I wish all Americans would read, because it reveals the faces of struggling fellow citizens, the likes of which we haven't seen in these numbers since the Great Depression. "Someplace Like America" is like a real-life, modern-day version of the torment Steinbeck laid out in "The Grapes of Wrath" all those years ago, albeit with numerous stories in various places across America.

As
...more
jeremy
Feb 05, 2012 jeremy rated it it was amazing
someplace like america: tales from the new great depression, as with so many other important and deserving books, may never enjoy the level of attention and readership it so obviously merits. written by dale maharidge and featuring photographs by long-time collaborator michael s. williamson (both of whom are pulitzer prize recipients), someplace like america is a haunting, cross-country journey through the individual lives of america's increasingly neglected working class. spanning some three de ...more
Colee B
Aug 11, 2014 Colee B rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics
What starts out as a wonderfully blunt look at the situation of working class, poor, and homeless America turns into a piece of propaganda against the right and those who do not support illegal immigration. If the book stayed on topic and explored poverty in America then I would have given it five stars. The oversimplification of FDR (he wasn't the benevolent savior of poor America like Maharidge portrays him to be), the awkward plug for illegal immigration (if he wanted to write about illegal i ...more
Rob
Mar 23, 2012 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author and his photographer goes back to see what has changed since 1980 when they joined forces to cover America and the people living on the margins and losing their jobs as a result of deindustrialization, in Journey to Nowhere which won a Pulitzer Prize. Now they follow up on the lives of several families that they met on that journey. What begun in the trickle-down Reagan years and comes full circle with the recent banking catastrophe putting a human face on today's grim economic numb ...more
Grace P.
Jul 04, 2011 Grace P. rated it it was amazing
Great book! I loved professors like this when I was in college. This is one book that explains what is going on in this country in an enjoyable-to-read format without being straight scholarly. There are some quotes I want to remember:

"Obama caved in to Republican demands without a fight and extended tax cuts for multimillionaires, which meant that the richest 0.1 percent of Americans each received an average tax cut of $370,000. To secure these tax cuts for the wealthy, Republicans had held host
...more
Lennie
Dec 02, 2012 Lennie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Should be mandatory read for anyone who is trying to understand America in the last 30 so years. The photographs are moving yet simple and the writing is calm, collective, but also vivid and compelling. The stories will leave you wanting to know more which in a way represents all relationships and encounters in life: wanting more. Truly, we can help those who are swept under the rug and forgotten. This book doesn't have all the answers, but it has enough to get the ball rolling. Did I mention Br ...more
Ocean
Oct 31, 2012 Ocean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
sort of like a really interesting documentary in book form. part memoir, part journalism, part photo essay. these dudes are really willing to get out there for their story. i liked the behind-the-scenes parts, how they got to their interview subjects, almost as much as (sometimes more than) the actual stories themselves. drawbacks: didn't tell me a lot i didn't already know/was from a white dude outsider perspective, but it's still an interesting and important read.
Lloyd Fassett
11/5/14 found it in Bruce Springsteen's list of all time favorite books. He wrote the forward. It looks like a quick read and is at our local library.
Kimberly Miller
Sep 13, 2012 Kimberly Miller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had to read this for one of my classes, but it is probably one of my top books I've ever read! It's so hard to imagine people who have been living in dire straits for over 30 years, but they have been. Dale draws you in with every family's personal story of struggle (from the 80s). Then, he revisits them in 2009 and 2010 to do an update. Captivating story! A definite must read before the election!
Sean Gardner
Not an easy read, have to be mentally ready to listen to all these sad accounts of people that have been left by the government and society. Helps to bring insight to the issue of homelessness and that most people are victims of a system that lets them down... Helps to break the prejudice that people have towards this issue...
Jim Noyes
Nov 30, 2014 Jim Noyes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent and frightening
David02139
Jul 30, 2011 David02139 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing book that traces people and families from 1983 - 2009 Homeless, Hobos. Eye opening on
who the homeless relating it to 1930's depression and facts from Economic policy Institute beginning each chapter
Todd
May 24, 2013 Todd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Powerful picture of socioeconomic fringe of America. But, also more of a memoir of the authors and their reporting through the years on the topic.
Heather
Mar 16, 2013 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best book I have read in a long time. Gives a real picture of what is going on in America and the tragedy of inequity of opportuniyt.
Stacey
Apr 02, 2013 Stacey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The dynamic duo of the under class has done it again!
Bwolf
Dec 26, 2013 Bwolf rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gripping, enlightening, sad, infuriating...
Matthew M. R. Scott
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May 11, 2016
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I'm an Associate Professor at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. I've published nine books, including And Their Children After Them, which won the 1990 non-fiction Pulitzer Prize. My tenth book will be published in March 2013--Bringing Mulligan Home/The Other Side of the Good War (PublicAffairs). Also this spring will see the publication of the paperback edition of Someplace Like ...more
More about Dale Maharidge...

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“What I would say to people right now is that you can’t count on anything that you don’t do yourself,” Jim said. “If your hand don’t put it there, and you don’t provide for your own family yourself, by your own intelligence and by your own means, you can’t count on anybody else to do it for you.” 1 likes
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