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Tightrope: Working-Class Despair and the Seeds of Hope

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Sheryl WuDunn (HBS ‘86) and Nicholas Kristof are widely recognized for their coverage of international humanitarian crises. In their recent book, Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope, they turn their attention to the struggles of the US working class. Regular encounters with the devastation wracking blue-collar families in Kristof’s hometown of Yamhill, Ore., prompted the couple to examine the effects (and causes) of joblessness, homelessness, substance abuse, incarceration, and chronic ill-health. WuDunn discusses the hard-to-break intergenerational cycles of poverty and despair, the impact of COVID-19, and some glimmers of hope.

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