In this Book

summary

From economist Anne Case and Nobel Prize winner Angus Deaton, a groundbreaking account of how the flaws in capitalism are fatal for America's working class

Life expectancy in the United States has recently fallen for three years in a row—a reversal not seen since 1918 or in any other wealthy nation in modern times. In the past two decades, deaths of despair from suicide, drug overdose, and alcoholism have risen dramatically, and now claim hundreds of thousands of American lives each year—and they're still rising. Anne Case and Angus Deaton, known for first sounding the alarm about deaths of despair, explain the overwhelming surge in these deaths and shed light on the social and economic forces that are making life harder for the working class. They demonstrate why, for those who used to prosper in America, capitalism is no longer delivering.

Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism paints a troubling portrait of the American dream in decline. For the white working class, today's America has become a land of broken families and few prospects. As the college educated become healthier and wealthier, adults without a degree are literally dying from pain and despair. In this critically important book, Case and Deaton tie the crisis to the weakening position of labor, the growing power of corporations, and, above all, to a rapacious health-care sector that redistributes working-class wages into the pockets of the wealthy. Capitalism, which over two centuries lifted countless people out of poverty, is now destroying the lives of blue-collar America.

This book charts a way forward, providing solutions that can rein in capitalism’s excesses and make it work for everyone.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Introduction: Death in the Afternoon
  2. pp. 1-16
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  1. Part I. Past as Prologue
  1. 1. The Calm before the Storm
  2. pp. 19-27
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  1. 2. Things Come Apart
  2. pp. 28-36
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  1. 3. Deaths of Despair
  2. pp. 37-46
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  1. Part II. The Anatomy of the Battlefield
  1. 4. The Lives and Deaths of the More (and Less) Educated
  2. pp. 49-61
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  1. 5. Black and White Deaths
  2. pp. 62-70
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  1. 6. The Health of the Living
  2. pp. 71-82
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  1. 7. The Misery and Mystery of Pain
  2. pp. 83-93
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  1. 8. Suicide, Drugs, and Alcohol
  2. pp. 94-108
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  1. 9. Opioids
  2. pp. 109-130
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  1. Part III. What’s the Economy Got to Do with It?
  1. 10. False Trails: Poverty, Income, and the Great Recession
  2. pp. 133-147
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  1. 11. Growing Apart at Work
  2. pp. 148-166
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  1. 12. Widening Gaps at Home
  2. pp. 167-184
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  1. Part IV. Why Is Capitalism Failing So Many?
  2. pp. 185-190
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  1. 13. How American Healthcare Is Undermining Lives
  2. pp. 191-211
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  1. 14. Capitalism, Immigrants, Robots, and China
  2. pp. 212-225
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  1. 15. Firms, Consumers, and Workers
  2. pp. 226-244
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  1. 16. What to Do?
  2. pp. 245-262
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 263-264
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 265-292
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 293-312
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780691199955
Related ISBN
9780691190785
MARC Record
OCLC
1120784555
Launched on MUSE
2020-01-12
Language
English
Open Access
No
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