Includes bibliographical references (pages 317-341) and index.
Part one: 2008. A ringing phone ; The carp swimming on Main Street ; Craig ; A retirement party ; Change in August ; To the Renaissance Center ; Mom, what are you going to do? ; "When one door of happiness closes, another opens" ; The Parker closet -- Part two: 2009. Rock County 5.0 ; The fourth last day ; Bidding war ; Sonic speed ; What does a union man do? ; Blackhawk ; Ahead of the class ; A plan and distress signals ; The holiday food drive -- Part three: 2010. Last days of Parker Pen ; Becoming a gypsy ; Family is more important than GM ; Honor cords ; The day the White House comes to town ; Labor Fest 2010 ; Project 16:49 ; Figuring it out ; Bags of hope -- Part four: 2011. The ambassador of optimism ; The opposite of a jailer ; This is what democracy looks like ; On Janesville time ; Pride and fear ; Labor Fest 2011 ; Discovering the closet ; After the overnight shift ; Late night at Woodman's -- Part five: 2012. SHINE ; Janesville gypsies ; A charity gap ; Gypsy kids ; Recall ; A rough summer ; The candidate ; Labor Fest 2012 ; Pill bottles ; Circle of women ; First vote ; HealthNet ; Out of a job again -- Part six: 2013. Two Janesvilles ; Night drive ; The ebb and flow of work ; Project 16:49 ; Glass more than half full ; Graduation weekend.
"A Washington Post reporter's intimate account of the fallout from the closing of a General Motors' assembly plant in Janesville, Wisconsin--Paul Ryan's hometown--and a larger story of the hollowing of the American middle class. This is the story of what happens to an industrial town in the American heartland when its factory stills--but it's not the familiar tale. Most observers record the immediate shock of vanished jobs, but few stay around long enough to notice what happens next, when a community with a can-do spirit tries to pick itself up. Pulitzer Prize winner Amy Goldstein has spent years immersed in Janesville, Wisconsin where the nation's oldest operating General Motors plant shut down in the midst of the Great Recession, two days before Christmas of 2008. Now, with intelligence, sympathy, and insight into what connects and divides people in an era of economic upheaval, she makes one of America's biggest political issues human. Her reporting takes the reader deep into the lives of autoworkers, educators, bankers, politicians, and job re-trainers to show why it's so hard in the twenty-first century to recreate a healthy, prosperous working class. For this is not just a Janesville story or a Midwestern story. It's an American story"-- Provided by publisher.