With the rise of the Tea Party and the election of Donald Trump, many middle- and lower-income white Americans threw their support behind conservative politicians who pledged to make life great again for people like them. But as Dying of Whiteness shows, the right-wing policies that resulted from this white backlash put these voters’ very health at risk—and in the end, threaten everyone’s well-being.
Physician and sociologist Jonathan M. Metzl travels across America’s heartland seeking to better understand the politics of racial resentment and its impact on public health. Interviewing a range of Americans, he uncovers how racial anxieties led to the repeal of gun control laws in Missouri, stymied the Affordable Care Act in Tennessee, and fueled massive cuts to schools and social services in Kansas. Although such measures promised to restore greatness to white America, Metzl’s systematic analysis of health data dramatically reveals they did just the opposite: these policies made life sicker, harder, and shorter in the very populations they purported to aid. Thus, white gun suicides soared, life expectancies fell, and school dropout rates rose.
In conjunction with how to: Academy we bring you Anand Giridharadas – author of the acclaimed new book, Winners Take All.
Anand takes the view that philanthropy simply isn’t working, and in many cases does more harm than good. He argues that global elite’s efforts to fight for equality and justice fail to change the world. Instead they address the symptoms, preserving the status quo and obscuring the elites’ own culpability.
Rather than relying on the whims of the winners, we must take on the gruelling democratic work of building more robust, egalitarian institutions, fixing the core social infrastructure problem, and insisting that elites give up some power along with their money.
Radical Help: How we can remake the relationships between us and revolutionise the welfare state
In 1942, the Beveridge Report laid the foundations for the UK’s welfare state. Seventy five years later, Hilary Cottam presents a new approach that will help rebuild the institutions that underpin society, based around human connections.
Hilary is an internationally acclaimed social entrepreneur whose work in communities around the world focuses on collaborative, affordable solutions to 21st century challenges: employment, ageing and chronic disease. Transformation is achieved through approaches that emphasise human relationships supported by technology.
Hilary’s recent book Radical Help argues that the Fourth Industrial Revolution needs an accompanying social revolution and sets out a new social welfare framework.
The people vs. tech: How the internet is killing democracy (and how we save it)
News today is rife with stories about ‘big tech’, Russian hackers and Facebook’s growing role in politics – much of it well-trodden and repetitive – but underneath it all is a simple truth: digital technology and our democracy are incompatible. We must reform democracy and rein in digital disruption within the next twenty years or risk losing democracy for good.
In his latest book, Jamie Bartlett offers twenty bold, radical proposals on how to do this and reveals a comprehensive and often shocking roadmap of where democracy is heading: a techno-dystopia where freedom is traded for security and efficiency. Examining six ‘pillars’ of democracy he vividly illustrates how each is under threat from big data, AI, connectivity and smartphone addiction.
Described as having “something approaching rock star status” in her field by The New York Times Magazine, Joan C. Williams has played a central role in reshaping the conversation about work, gender, and class over the past quarter century.
In White Working Class she explains why so much of the elite’s analysis of the white working class is misguided, rooted in assumptions of what she has controversially called “class cluelessness”. She presents a blunt, bracing narrative that sketches a nuanced portrait of millions of people who have proven to be a potent political force.
Those who championed globalization once promised a world of winners, one in which free trade would lift all the world’s boats, and extremes of left and right would give way to universally embraced liberal values. The past few years have shattered this fantasy, as those who’ve paid the price for globalism’s gains have turned to populist and nationalist politicians to express fury at the political, media, and corporate elites they blame for their losses.
Ian Bremmer shows in his eye-opening new book that populism is still spreading. Globalism creates plenty of both winners and losers, and those who’ve missed out want to set things right. They’ve begun to understand the world as a battle for the future that pits “us” vs. “them.”
When human beings feel threatened, we identify the danger and look for allies. We use the enemy, real or imagined, to rally friends to our side. This book is about the ways in which people will define these threats as fights for survival. It’s about the walls governments will build to protect insiders from outsiders and the state from its people.