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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Who We Are Now: The Changing Face of America In The 21st Century » User review

Information overload!!!!

  • Dec 23, 2008
  • by
Imagine the daunting task of taking the raw data from the 2000 U.S. census and trying to make sense of it all?  "Who We Are Now" is author Sam Roberts heroic attempt to do just that.  In fact, Roberts, a veteran New York Times journalist wrote just such a book a decade ago based on the 1990 census.  I did not read that one but I must warn you that I found getting through the sequel to be a bit tedious at times.  There are simply too many statistics for the average reader to process.  I often became confused and as a result I lost interest in the points the author was attempting to convey.

Having said that, the reader is still likely to come away from this book with a better understanding of who we are as a people and of the emerging trends in the country.  You'll learn how the racial and ethnic composition of the nation is undergoing dramatic changes, where our citizens are moving to and from and what the consequences might be of our aging population.  But at the end of the day I think I would prefer to read about such issues in books primarily devoted to those topics.  And while I commend Sam Roberts for his attempt, in my judgement "Who We Are Now" is far more appropriate as a research volume for scholars than a book one would read from cover to cover.

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Paul Tognetti ()
Ranked #2
I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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About this book


A revealing view of America and its citizens at the dawn of a new century, by the author of theNew York Times Notable Book Who We Are

For more than two centuries, America has taken stock every decade, producing a statistical self-portrait of our population. In Who We Are Now, Sam Roberts identifies and illuminates the trends and social shifts changing the face of America today.

America is in the midst of a fundamental transformation. The nation's complexion changed significantly over the twentieth century, creating more varied and intermingled identities, and with the baby boomers nearing retirement and their children entering college, the graying of America has been balanced, precariously, by the youth culture. And in the wake of welfare reform in the 1990s, the fate of the working poor has become all the more tenuous. Roberts masterfully weaves stories of individuals from all corners of the country alongside the data from the latest U.S. census, creating a compelling guided tour of the places, personalities, and politics that will shape America as the new century stretches before us.
Sam Roberts has been a reporter, columnist, and editor at The New York Times since 1983 and is also the host of New York Close-Up, a nightly television interview program on the cable news station New York 1. He is the author of Who We Are: A Portrait of America based on the latest U.S. Census, published in 1994, and The Brother: The Untold Story of the Rosenberg Case. He lives in ...
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ISBN-10: 080507080X
ISBN-13: 978-0805070804
Author: Sam Roberts
Genre: Reference
Publisher: Times Books
Date Published: September 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
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