Alienated America: Why Some Places Thrive While Others Collapse (Hardcover)
Now a Washington Post Bestseller.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald J. Trump proclaimed, “The American Dream is dead,” a message that resonated across the country. Washington Examiner editor Timothy Carney traveled Middle America, pored over county-level maps and data, and sorted through sociological studies, and had a startling revelation: Donald Trump is right, but the death of the American Dream is a social phenomenon, not an economic one.
In some parts of the United States, life seems to be getting worse because citizens are facing their problems alone. These communities have seen declines in marriage, voting, church attendance, and volunteer work. Even when money comes back to town, happiness does not return if people there do not reengage. The educated and wealthy elites, on the other hand, tend to live in places where institutions are strong, or have enough money to insulate themselves.
Carney visits all corners of America, from the dim country bars of southwestern Pennsylvania to the bustling Mormon wards of Salt Lake City, and provides the most important data and research to explain why failing social connections are responsible for the great divide in America. Alienated America confirms the conservative suspicion that these places can’t be fixed with job-training programs or more entitlement spending, and backs up the liberal belief that new Trump voters aren’t coming to his rallies for the corporate tax cuts and Obamacare repeal.
Tim Carney will change the way you look at the challenges facing modern America and present a framework for leading us out of the wilderness.
About the Author
Timothy P. Carney is the commentary editor at the Washington Examiner and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. He is the author of The Big Ripoff: How Big Business and Big Government Steal Your Money and Obamanomics: How Barack Obama is Bankrupting You and Enriching His Wall Street Friends, Corporate Lobbyists, and Union Bosses. He lives in the Washington, D.C., area.
“Tim Carney knows what the social scientists know, but he brings the numbers to vivid life for the nation as a whole—Hillbilly Elegy with a panoramic lens. This book transcends politics. In fact, it’s especially for those who don’t understand why people voted for Trump but are willing to try. “
— Charles Murray, author of Coming Apart
“The American Dream is rooted not in Washington, but in family, church, and community. Alienated America is a fascinating blend of first class reporting and studious research. Pundits on the left AND right should read this book to understand America. It explains how Trump understood the people he now serves.”
— Jason Chaffetz, author, The Deep State
“Tim Carney delivers a masterful contribution to the debate about what is driving our society’s growing divisions. Rejecting purely material or demographic explanations, he shows that the deepest disparity facing Americans today is one of community. Clear and compassionate, Alienated America offers a roadmap for the restoration of our nation.”
— Arthur C. Brooks, New York Times Bestselling author of The Conservative Heart
“America’s real challenge lies far deeper than its political polarization and class division. In losing our connections to each other, we’ve lost ourselves. In this powerful book, Tim Carney not only identifies the causes of our drifting apart, he shows us the places across the nation where people are coming together and reknitting their social fabric to thrive.”
— Richard Florida, author, Rise of the Creative Class