Kay S. HymowitzCity-Journal
When Charles Murrayâ€™s best-selling Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960â€“2010 appeared a few months ago, the bookâ€™s fictional working-class neighborhood, Fishtown, became one more battleground in Americaâ€™s 50-year-old culture war. Fishtown was representative, Murray argued, of a new white underclass in Americaâ€”one produced by cultural decline, especially the collapse of marriage. Critics objected that the real source of misery in the nationâ€™s Fishtowns wasnâ€™t a lack of marriages; it was the extinction of manufacturing jobs. The disagreement was familiar to culture-war veterans: conservatives versus liberals, family breakdown versus dearth of good jobs, culture versus economics, David Brooks versus Paul Krugman.
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