Fucked at Birth: Recalibrating the American Dream for the 2020s (Paperback)

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Description


This is a book ripped from the headlines, from Black Lives Matter to recently thriving downtowns stripped of office workers and service workers. Those catching the brunt of it all, those with the steepest hills to climb, may have been fucked at birth. But for everyone, as Maharidge observes, the feeling of safety is folly. A sharp wake-up call to heed the new Depression and to recognize the humanity of those hit hardest. --Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

"Dale Maharidge takes us coast to coast in 2020, down highways along which he first reported decades ago. His honed class awareness--unrivaled among contemporary journalists--reveals that today's confluent health, economic and social crises are the logical conclusion to generations of unvalidated, untreated despair in a wealthy nation. Forget hollow commentary from detached television news studios in New York City. Fucked at Birth is the truth." --Sarah Smarsh, Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth

Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Dale Maharidge has spent his career documenting the downward spiral of the American working class. Poverty is both reality and destiny for increasing numbers of people in the 2020s and, as Maharidge discovers spray-painted inside an abandoned gas station in the California desert, it is a fate often handed down from birth.

Motivated by this haunting phrase--"Fucked at Birth"--Maharidge explores the realities of being poor in America in the coming decade, as pandemic, economic crisis and social revolution up-end the country. Part raw memoir, part dogged, investigative journalism, Fucked At Birth channels the history of poverty in America to help inform the voices Maharidge encounters daily. In an unprecedented time of social activism amid economic crisis, when voices everywhere are rising up for change, Maharidge's journey channels the spirits of George Orwell and James Agee, raising questions about class, privilege, and the very concept of "upward mobility," while serving as a final call to action. From Sacramento to Denver, Youngstown to New York City, Fucked At Birth dares readers to see themselves in those suffering most, and to finally--after decades of refusal--recalibrate what we are going to do about it.

About the Author


For two decades, Dale Maharidge has been one of America's leading chroniclers of poverty. Alongside photographer Michael Williamson, his book And Their Children After Them won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1990, revisiting the places and people of depression-era America, depicted in Walker Evans's and James Agee's Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. Also with Williamson, Maharidge wrote Journey to Nowhere: The Saga of the New Underclass, which Bruce Springsteen has credited as an influence for songs such as Youngstown and The New Timer.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781951213220
ISBN-10: 195121322X
Publisher: Unnamed Press
Publication Date: January 12th, 2021
Pages: 160
Language: English

How to read more

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( Birmingham Museums Trust’s Digital Image Resource shares thousands of images that span decades of Birminghams vibrant past)

How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.

 

And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.

 

15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.

 

50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.

 

Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.

 

Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.

 

Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.

 

Outcome

Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.

 
 
 

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