Video

Amy Goldstein, "Janesville"

Driven by the question of what happens to a middle-class community when jobs disappear, Goldstein, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has covered national social policies for The Washington Post since 1987, tracked the effects of the Great Recession on Janesville, Wisconsin. Until 2008, the small city was home to the oldest operating U.S. auto plant in the country. When General Motors closed down its Janesville facilities, it put 3,000 people out of work immediately—and many more lost their jobs in the following months as the economic downturn spiraled through local suppliers and other small businesses. In her summation of Janesville’s experiences, Goldstein notes that the American Dream of upward mobility has become an anachronism.

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