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Jim Tankersley is an economics reporter for the New York Times. He covers the economic policies of the Trump administration and their effects on working people, the long-running and persistent inequities in the American economy, and, most recently, the nation's spiral into recession amid the coronavirus pandemic. Click here to read his latest stories for the Times.
A son of small-town Oregon, he has written for newspapers across the country about the struggles of the middle class and the failure of politicians to address them.
Tankersley won the prestigious Livingston Award for Young Journalists for stories tracing the roots of Ohio's economic decline. With colleagues at The Blade newspaper in Toledo, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
He lives outside Washington, D.C., with his wife and son.
The Riches of This Land
On a reporting journey from the rocket suburbs of Los Angeles to the tobacco fields of North Carolina, from Wall Street in meltdown to the White House during a pandemic, Jim Tankersley traces the origins and destiny of an American middle class that is under siege.
For nearly two centuries, the best jobs in the United States were walled off to everyone but white men. After World War II, women, immigrants, and black men began to tear those walls down. Their radical attack on discrimination built the greatest middle class in human history. But the steady disappearance of good jobs, followed by two once-in-a-lifetime economic crises, eroded that middle class and locked millions of people out of the American Dream.
History shows how to lift workers up again, but not the history that elite white men have sold for decades. Tankersley's vivid storytelling, supported by cutting-edge research, reveals a path to revival and the essential heroes of what was, and can again be, a great American economy. Buy the book
An essential book from an essential reporter. The Riches of This Land is a brilliant. searing, and human-centered examination of the American middle class, what it could be, and what it must be.