Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010

Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010

From the bestselling author of Losing Ground and The Bell Curve, this startling long-lens view shows how America is coming apart at the seams that historically have joined our classes.


In Coming Apart, Charles Murray explores the formation of American classes that are different in kind from anything we have ever known, focusing on whites as a way of driving home the fact that the trends he describes do not break along lines of race or ethnicity.

Drawing on five decades of statistics and research, Coming Apart demonstrates that a new upper class and a new lower class have diverged so far in core behaviors and values that they barely recognize their underlying American kinship—divergence that has nothing to do with income inequality and that has grown during good economic times and bad.

The top and bottom of white America increasingly live in different cultures, Murray argues, with the powerful upper class living in enclaves surrounded by their own kind, ignorant about life in mainstream America, and the lower class suffering from erosions of family and community life that strike at the heart of the pursuit of happiness. That divergence puts the success of the American project at risk.

The evidence in Coming Apart is about white America. Its message is about all of America.

Title:Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780307453426
Format Type:

    Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 Reviews

  • Lewis Weinstein

    "I’ll be shocked if there’s another book this year as important as Charles Murray’s 'Coming Apart.'” --David Brooks, The New York Times"Mr. Murray's sobering portrait is of a nation where mill...

  • Faith

    Here's a nice little summary of the book:Poor people are unsuccessful because they're lazy, immoral, and stupid. Upper and upper middle class people are successful because they are smart, morally upri...

  • John-Paul

    This book has earned many 1-star reviews and many 5-star reviews. I don't like to present myself as some kind of political Goldilocks, but I must say that I disagree with most of Murray's political le...

  • Jessica Scott

    If you want to have a discussion about class in America, you MUST read this book. This book was eye opening in many significant ways and the most troubling part is that if Murray is even half right, t...

  • Mehrsa

    What makes Murray so irritating is that he can be mostly right until he’s dangerously wrong. This book is about two Americas—wealthy elites who increasingly cloister themselves from everyone else ...

  • Socraticgadfly

    "Coming Apart" is quite possibly more mendacious than "The Bell Curve." It's certainly more hypocritical, and given that Murray's whole thesis is ultimately a screed against the Great Society more spi...

  • Orrin Woodward

    Charles Murray's book pinpoints the unraveling of America's community over the last 50 years and shares a plan for its restoration. It's one of the few books that I purchased and read within the week....

  • L.A. Starks

    Charles Murray has gained notoriety due to the attacks on him and protests over one of his earlier books. Leaving that aside (with no wish to get in a firefight), THIS book, published in 2013, explain...

  • Todd N

    Baratunde Thurston, the author of How To Be Black, astutely pointed out that you have to hand it to Charles Murray for coming out with a book about white people during Black History Month. (Oh wait. I...

  • Lawrence Lihosit

    While reading Charles Murray’s new book, I thought about our recent national obsession with civil discourse and events in Oakland, California. Since it never snows in Oakland, Occupy Wall Street has...