Someplace Like America: Tales from the New Great Depression. By
Dale Maharidge, Photographs by Michael S. Williamson, Foreword by Bruce Springsteen
We were first turned on to writer Dale Maharidge and photographer Michael S. Williamson when their phenomenal book Journey to Nowhere: The Saga of the New Underclass inspired Springsteen to write songs for The Ghost of Tom Joad. Springsteen wrote an introduction for a 1996 edition of that book; 15 years later, he's introducing their work again.
In Someplace Like America, Maharidge and Williamson take us to the working-class heart of America, bringing to life --through shoe leather reporting, memoir, vivid stories, stunning photographs, and thoughtful analysis -- the deepening crises of poverty and homelessness.
The story begins in 1980, when the authors joined forces to cover the America being ignored by the mainstream media -- people living on the margins and losing their jobs as a result of deindustrialization. Since then, Maharidge and Williamson have traveled more than half a million miles to investigate the state of the working class (winning a Pulitzer Prize in the process).
In Someplace Like America, they follow the lives of several families over the thirty-year span to present an intimate and devastating portrait of workers going jobless. This brilliant and essential study -- begun in the trickle-down Reagan years and culminating with the recent banking catastrophe -- puts a human face on today's grim economic numbers. It also illuminates the courage and resolve with which the next generation faces the future.
Hardcover, 256 pages