Katherine S. Newman
Downhill from Here:
Retirement Insecurity in the Age of Inequality
This event includes a book signing
February 1, 2019
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store welcomes award-winning writer and sociologist KATHERINE S. NEWMAN—author of No Shame in My Game: The Working Poor in the Inner City—for a discussion of her latest book, Downhill from Here: Retirement Insecurity in the Age of Inequality.
This event was rescheduled from Thursday, January 17th.
About Downhill from Here
As millions of Baby Boomers reach their golden years, the state of retirement in America is little short of a disaster. Nearly half the households with people aged fifty-five and older have no retirement savings at all. The real estate crash wiped out much of the home equity that millions were counting on to support their retirement. And the typical Social Security check covers less than 40% of pre-retirement wages―a number projected to drop to under 28% within two decades. Old-age poverty, a problem we thought was solved by the New Deal, is poised for a resurgence.
With dramatic statistics and vivid portraits, acclaimed sociologist Katherine S. Newman shows that the American retirement crisis touches us all, cutting across class lines and generational divides. White-collar managers have seen retirement benefits vanish; Teamsters have had their pensions cut in half; bankrupt cities like Detroit have walked away from their commitments to municipal workers. And for Generation X, the prospects are even worse: a fifth of them expect to never be able to retire. Only the vaunted “one percent” can face retirement without fear.
Other countries are confronting similar demographic challenges, yet they have not abandoned their social contract with seniors. Downhill From Here makes it clear that America, too, can―and must―do better.
“With urgency and humanity, Katherine Newman paints a dire picture of retirement in communities across the United States, and challenges us to fix it. This book is a wake-up call for this country, and a clarion call for all of us to take action.” ―Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation
“With great skill and compelling evidence, Katherine Newman explains why most of the boomer generation doesn’t have enough money to retire on while CEOs and others at the top are socking away a fortune. And she offers some practical solutions. Thoughtful, beautifully written, and urgent.” ―Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and author of The Common Good
“Newman combines panoramic thinking about America with the most precise details about towns and companies. She shows us a country disregarding the needs of many of its citizens. As one of her subjects puts it, ‘I can’t go back to work. If I do, I’ll end up dead.’ After reading this book, you will never be able to unsee this growing social tragedy.” ―Alissa Quart, author of Squeezed
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes
As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.
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