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Case, Anne / Deaton, Angus

Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism


    45,95 € / $52.50 / £44.00*

    eBook (PDF)
    Publication Date:
    Copyright year:
    To be published:
    March 2020
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    Aims and Scope

    The flaws in capitalism that are fatal for America's working class In America today, deaths of despair—from suicide, drug overdose, and alcoholism—are on the rise among working-class whites. Life expectancy in the United States as a whole has now fallen for three years in a row, a drastic trend unique among wealthy nations and not seen since the great flu pandemic of 1918. Anne Case and Angus Deaton, known for first sounding the alarm about deaths of despair, shed light on the social and economic forces that make life harder for those without a college degree. They explain why, for those with less education, who used to prosper in America, capitalism is no longer delivering. Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism paints a troubling portrait of the American dream in decline. For those without a college degree, today's America has become a land of broken families and few prospects. As the college educated become healthier and wealthier, adults without a college degree are literally dying from pain and despair. In this critically important book, Case and Deaton tie the crisis to the weakening position of labor, the growing power of corporations, and, above all, to a rapacious health-care sector that redistributes working-class wages into the pockets of the wealthy. Capitalism, which over two centuries lifted countless people out of poverty, is now destroying the lives of America's workers. This book charts a way forward, providing policy solutions that can rein in capitalism's excesses and make it work for everyone.


    312 pages
    26 b/w illus. 2 maps.
    Type of Publication:
    Specialist Text
    opioids; opioid addiction; OxyContin; Make America Great Again; Donald Trump; class divisions; mortality rates; drug abuse; demography; social epidemiology; midlife mortality; inequality; polarization; rich get richer; poor get poorer; labor unions; decline of unions; public health; Sackler family; Purdue Pharma; falling wages; US healthcare system; healthcare industry; health insurance; pharmaceutical industry; corporate America; corporate greed; healthcare reform; universal healthcare; unemployment; income gap; wealth gap
    Professional and scholarly;College/higher education;

    More ...

    Anne Case; Angus Deaton, Princeton University, New Jersey, USA.


    "In the face of a government that failed to protect ordinary working-class Americans from the greed-fueled opioid epidemic and a media that was slow to notice the problem, Anne Case and Angus Deaton are true sentinels. Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism is an urgent and clarion call to rethink pain, inequality, justice, and the business of being human in America. This book explains America to itself. I underlined damn near every sentence."—Beth Macy, author of Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America"This book explains so many of today's headlines with clear writing, sharp storytelling, and an almost symphonic use of research in economics, public health, and history. What it summons is a powerful analysis of who we are as Americans and what we have become as a country."—Sam Quinones, author of Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic

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