Correspondents of The New York Times
Introduction by Bill Keller
Class Matters collects all fourteen articles from the highly acclaimed New York Times series.
“It is gratifying to find that, obversely, many deadline-stressed journalists have within them a research scholar wishing to get out, one who carries out that sustained, academic research that is impossible under the pressure of daily assignments . . . Class Matters is just such a journalist-led research effort, the culmination of an extraordinary decision by The New York Times to carry out a year-long research project on social class, based on a commissioned survey as well as much ethnographic legwork. The resulting book (14 chapters written by 13 reporters and editors) includes topics intended to demonstrate the complex and changing ways in which ‘class matters’ for health, family relations, consumption and lifestyle, educational decisions, and much more. The authors often draw smartly on the survey commissioned for the project . . . Class Matters puts the brute facts of inequality before us in a compelling, discomforting way. In a world where inequality is everywhere, we become necessarily inured to it, and Class Matters works admirably to make us see it again freshly and feel it again deeply. We all know that the world is massively unequal, but the force of the known is lost on us as we live with it on a daily basis . . . Does Class Matters outperform the standard scholarly journal article in this regard? Indisputably. Does there come a time when the exalted scientific method is beside the point and high-quality journalism is the order of the day? Absolutely. In this important sense, Class Matters is a resounding success, and the New York Times is to be commended for making it happen.”—David B. Grucky, Contexts
A team of New York Times reporters spent more than a year exploring ways that class—defined as a combination of income, education, wealth and occupation—influences destiny in a society that likes to think of itself as a land of unbounded opportunity.
That team comprises: Anthony DePalma, Timothy Egan, Geraldine Fabrikant, Laurie Goodstein, David Cay Johnston, Peter T. Kilborn, David D. Kirkpatrick, David Leonhardt, Tamar Lewin, Charles McGrath, Janny Scott, Jennifer Steinhauer, and Isabel Wilkerson.
Bill Keller was the executive editor of The New York Times from July 2003-September 2011 and continues to write for the paper.
Class Matters has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:
Bowdoin College (ME); Bryn Mawr College (PA); Lehigh University (PA); Pace University (NY); University of Massachusetts, Lowell; Western Illinois University