Sheffner's Reviews > Visible Man

Visible Man by George Gilder
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really liked it

A journalist (Gilder) seeks out a young black accused of rape, follows him and his family around for a few years and comes up with a devastating critique of the modern welfare state in the U.S.A.

Although Gilder insists everything in the book really happened, he can't seem to help adding lyrical or journalistic touches to scenes that he could not have witnessed or that could only have been reported to him by the participants and hence their veracity must be taken with salt.

But, boy! the man can write. The book reads like a novel, in more or less chronological order thought it starts off at the end and then flashes back. Gilder's thesis - that the welfare system itself is to blame for the fate of the main character (Sam) and his ilk - is convincing, especially when Sam returns to his hometown in North Carolina and meets his biological father, allowing Gilder to compare the situations of blacks there with Sam and others in Albany, New York.

Though I've never read Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man" (1953), George Gilder's book seems to me to supercede it and bring us up to date (well, 1995, anyway, and not much has changed since then, unfortunately).

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Reading Progress

September 21, 2019 – Started Reading
September 24, 2019 – Finished Reading
September 25, 2019 – Shelved

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