In “Tightrope,” authors Kristof and WuDunn issue a plea – deeply personal and told through the lives of real Americans – to address the crisis in working-class America, while focusing on solutions to mend a half century of governmental failure.
The authors tell this story, in part, through the lives of some of the children with whom Kristof grew up, in rural Yamhill, Oregon, an area that prospered for much of the twentieth century but has been devastated in the last few decades as blue-collar jobs disappeared.
And while these particular stories unfolded in one corner of the country, they represent many of the places the authors write about, ranging from the Dakotas and Oklahoma to New York and Virginia. With their superb, nuanced reportage, Kristof and WuDunn have given us a book that is both riveting and impossible to ignore.
Nicholas D. Kristof and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn have coauthored several books together including A Path Appears and Half the Sky. Together they were awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1990 for their coverage of China and in 2009, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Lifetime Achievement.
Now an op-ed columnist for the New York Times, Kristof was previously bureau chief in Hong Kong, Beijing, and Tokyo. He won his second Pulitzer in 2006 for his columns on Darfur. WuDunn worked at the New York Times as a business editor and foreign correspondent in Tokyo and Beijing. She now works in banking.