"An intimate look at the lives of Americans who have been affected, in very different ways, by the 2008 Recession"-- Journalist Barbara Garson shows us the real human cost of our economic follies. The Great Recession has thrown huge economic challenges at almost all Americans save the super-affluent few, and we are only now beginning to reckon up the human toll. This book is an urgent dispatch from the front lines of our vast collective struggle to keep our heads above water. Garson has interviewed an economically and geographically wide variety of Americans to show the painful waste in all this loss and insecurity, and describe how individuals are coping. Her broader historical focus, though, is on the causes and consequences of the long stagnation of wages and how it has resulted in an increasingly desperate reliance on credit and a series of ever-larger bubbles--stocks, technology, real estate. This is no way to run an economy, or a democracy. This sobering picture of what happens to a society when it becomes economically organized to benefit only the very rich and the quick-buck speculators also demonstrates the wit and resilience of ordinary Americans.--From publisher description.