Class Matters

Times Books



Trade Paperback

288 Pages



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Collecting all fourteen articles in the highly-acclaimed New York Times narrative series, Class Matters produces numerous fresh and thought-provoking insights on an extremely complicated—and rarely discussed—subject. It demonstrates how social class in America plays a crucial role in all aspects of society, including education, health, marriage, and geography. The series profiles a range of individuals: a couple in cross-class marriage; a family who slipped into the welfare class and battled their way out; a Ph.D. student from a poor region in southwest Virginia; a group of Mexican restaurant workers; a "relocation" family—a term used to define the nomadic life of white-collar families in Georgia; and the migration of evangelical Christians from the social margins into the Protestant mainstream.  In his Introduction, Bill Keller, executive editor of The New York Times, fittingly states that the reporting represented in these articles—already considered core resources in many classrooms nationwide—"take the discussion of class in our country to a new level."

Class Matters also includes essays by Christopher Buckley, Richard Price, Linda Chavez, Diane McWhorter and David Levering Lewis about their encounters with class while they were growing up.


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CLASS MATTERS (Chapter One)1. Shadowy Lines That Still Divide

Janny Scott and David Leonhardt

Four faces of social class in America today. Top, Erma Goulart, Mauric Mitchell. Bottom, Steve Schoenech, Barbara Freeborn. Their comments are on the page at left. (Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times)

There was a time when Americans thought they understood class. The upper crust vacationed in Europe and worshiped an Episcopal God. The middle class drove Ford Fairlanes, settled the San Fernando Valley and enlisted as company men. The working class belonged to the AFL-CIO, voted Democratic



  • This book's New York Times team is comprised of Anthony DePalma, Timothy Egan, Geraldine Fabrikant, Laurie Goodstein, David Cay Johnston, Peter T. Kilborn, David D. Kirkpatrick, David Leonhardt, Tamar Lewin, Charles McGrath, Janny Scott, Jennifer Steinhauer, and Isabel Wilkerson.

    Bill Keller is the executive editor of The New York Times.