Anand Giridharadas's The True American operates on the seemingly provocative question of who is more American: the Bangladeshi air-force officer who immigrates to Dallas, hires on as a gas-station cashier, and dreams of working with computers; or the Bud-swilling, tatted, truck-driving, meth-blasted Texas peckerwood who shot him as "revenge" for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Which man more encapsulates the true core of American ideals? And, really, what are America's post-9/11 ideals?
A meticulous exposť of the meat industry, The Meat Racket is about more than just how big companies are ruining rural farmers. It's also more than another installment in the stomach-churning saga of the industrialization of our food supply. Christopher Leonard, whether he means to or not, is telling a broader story about American business, consumerism, and—most of all—greed.
This is a study of how authority maintains authority—and of how the subjugated stay subjugated, in ways spoken and unspoken. Oppressive structure exists not just as a matter of corporate policy but in the very architecture of the workplace—the physical boundaries within which the business of business is carried out. The genius of Cubed is that Saval recognizes the mood of barely controlled panic that suffuses most American offices, and tracks it through every element of the overmanaged, time-sucking, and keystroke-counting world of work.
In Young Money, Kevin Roose investigates why young people still seek jobs on Wall Street even after the crash of 2008 revealed it to be a seeping moral gutter. Roose, a writer for New York magazine, is something of a specialist in reporting on publicity-averse subcultures. In 2009, he published an
Who gets to be funny and who gets made fun of? Americans never get tired of that question. At least, we Americans in the think-piece-writing business don’t. Are women funny? Are fat jokes cruel playground humor or legitimate satire in an increasingly unfit culture? Did that comic you’ve never
In Dragnet Nation, Julia Angwin spends a year trying to communicate digitally without being snooped on by the NSA, Google, and all the many other powerful institutions that have worked their way into our online lives. As she discovers, it isn't easy.
These days the island of Más Afuera—five hundred miles west of Santiago, Chile—may be known only as the place Jonathan Franzen went to spread the ashes of David Foster Wallace, as recounted in a 2011 essay in the New Yorker. But in March 1800, Amasa Delano, a ship's captain from New England, arrived
It is the unfortunate fate of many women of a certain period to be recalled not as individuals but as "flappers," a word that seems, to modern chroniclers, a nearly irresistible invitation to a morality tale. A woman of the 1920s might refuse domesticity without consequence; a flapper, on the other
The Everything Store, Brad Stone's reverential biography of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, isn't a book you should feel obliged to read. It doesn't bristle with character development, narrative arc, or unexpected lessons.