4.4
Janesville

Janesville: An American Story by Amy Goldstein

New York Times review:

“Moving and magnificently well-researched… Janesville joins a growing family of books about the evisceration of the working class in the United States. What sets it apart is the sophistication of its storytelling and analysis”

Featured in New York Times’ 100 Notable Books of 2017.

NPR review:

“Narrative-driven long-form reporting at its best. Amy Goldstein spent years following roughly a dozen workers who were affected by the closing of General Motors’ Janesville Assembly Plant just before Christmas 2008.”

Featured in NPR’s Book Concierge Great Reads of 2017.

Washington Post review:

“A poignant account of how the people of Janesville, Wis., reacted to the closure of their local General Motors plant.”

Featured in Washington Post’s 50 Notable Non-Fiction Books of 2017.

Aggregated customer review rating:

4.4 out of 5.0

Ranked 85th in Books

Ranked 6th in Business

Ranked 22nd in History

Ranked 42nd in Non-fiction

Ranked 15th in Politics

$ 11

Janesville: An American Story is an intimate report of the fallout of the closing of a General Motors assembly plant in Janesville, Wisconsin. However, the story shows that the implications are deeper than just unemployment for the citizens of the small town. It is a larger story of the hallowing on the American middle class.

The story is not just that of Janesville. This scenario happens all too often in an industrial towns in the American heartland when a factory or plant closes. There is initial shock as the jobs vanish. The nation views from the distance of their TV screens, poised on the edge of their seats as to what will happen next. But then a bigger story comes on and the viewers click away from the story of these communities to something that offers more excitement.

Pulitzer Prize winner Amy Goldstein refused to let the same happened to Janesville. She spent years immersed in the culture of Janesville, where America’s older operating General Motors plant operated before it closure just two days before Christmas in 2008. She recorded the division and upheaval that occurred in the town with sympathy, intelligence and amazing insight in this novel.

She gives readers an inside look into the lives of autoworkers, educators, bankers, politicians, and more. She shows just how difficult it is to recreate a healthy, thriving working class in not only Janesville, but so many other industrial towns in America.

Goldstein has received much praise for her work with this novel. The New York Times says, “Moving and magnificently well-researched…Janesville joins a growing family of books about the evisceration of the working class in the United States. What sets it apart is the sophistication of its storytelling and analysis.”

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