| Summary

The Betrayal of the American Dream

“. . . essential reading to anyone trying to make sense of our country's current malaise.” — Los Angeles Times

Betrayal merits a careful read from anyone concerned about the nation’s economic future. It is almost haunting…They dissect one industry after another with the precision and narrative flair that have won them many awards, including two Pulitzers.…The writers conclude with a cogent plan for substantial, specific changes to rehabilitate the American dream and rescue the middle class." – Associated Press

“Rich in detail about how we got into this crisis and provide[s] roadmaps out.” — Seattle Times

“Not merely number-crunching chroniclers of middle-class decline, (Barlett and Steele) are invested in the fate of the people who exemplify it. (Their) preeminent talent is their knack for combining the micro and the macro. They look systemically at issues and policies, from the US tax code to healthcare. The questions they ask are both pragmatic (Does the system work?) and ideological (Who is benefiting, and at whose expense?). Their conclusions are buttressed by details gleaned from public records. But they also use the paper trail to track down the system’s apparent victims…the laid-off, the discarded, the pensionless, and the uninsured.” – Columbia Journalism Review

“Using memorable anecdotes gleaned from deep reporting, Barlett and Steele show how the ruling class has instituted policies that mean the near abandonment in the job market for returning military veterans who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq.” – USA Today

“A brawling, journalistic mix-it-up…The authors’ passion and anger are as clear in these pages as they are in the title.” – The Washington Post

“The ostensibly willful destruction of the American middle class is laid bare in this villains and underdogs story from the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting duo…for folks bowled over by the recent financial meltdown, Barlett and Steele's book will resonate.” — Publishers Weekly

“…a well written, readable book on the economic crisis and the 30 years of looting by corporate America… The authors place human faces on the devastation being wrought in our economy, and the pain and suffering imposed on the many by the few.” – Daily Kos

“Barlett and Steele cover a lot of ground in this relatively short, fast-paced new book. Their straightforward, impassioned prose is filled with real-life stories of people who are losing their grip on the American Dream.” – The Progressive

“Barlett and Steele… have some intelligent things to say about the unfairness and impenetrability of the American tax code, which favors the wealthy and allows dangerous accounting for corporate pension liabilities….The book is strongest, and most useful, when it recounts the poignant stories of workers left out in the cold, chilling examples of exactly how far members of the middle class have fallen. The book will undoubtedly make you angry.” – New York Times Book Review

“Urgent reading for anyone interested in contemporary America.” — Irish Times

“Barlett and Steele address key elements of this betrayal [of the middle class] (globalization, outsourcing, taxes, pensions, financial-sector dominance), then offer suggestions for reversing it, including progressive tax reform, fair trade, infrastructure investment, focused retraining, and criminal prosecution of white-collar criminals. – Booklist

“A primer that should be read by all Americans who really want to understand problems in our job market and our economy… fascinating and readable.” – Charleston (WVa) Gazette

“The book is a nuanced and well-researched report on the crisis of the American middle class.” – The Kansas City Star