It usually takes several creative attempts for young intellectuals to find their voice. But Daniel Brook, a Yale-educated journalist, demonstrates that he has done so in his first book, a piquant mix of passionate arguments, concrete data, and wry humor.
Brook addresses one of our country’s most pressing social and economic problems: growing income inequality. He tackles head-on the question of whether young people who want to put their energies into working for the public good can do meaningful work and support their families at the same time.
It used to be possible to do both, he explains; activists in generations past were able to live a solid middle-class life. But with today’s skyrocketing cost of housing, education, and health care, this is no longer a realistic choice.
The writing is smart and lively, and the arguments well reasoned. Brook demonstrates not only how the middle class is being decimated, but why that decimation threatens to destroy the very foundations of our society.
For all its disputation, however, this is not a polemic. Rather, it is a realistic look at today’s society through the lens of a new generation searching for stability and success without sacrificing the social conscience idealistic young Americans in general, and Jews in particular, value so highly. Footnotes, index.
Linda F. Burghardt is a New York-based journalist and author who has contributed commentary, breaking news, and features to major newspapers across the U.S., in addition to having three non-fiction books published. She writes frequently on Jewish topics and is now serving as Scholar-in-Residence at the Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center of Nassau County.