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Pantheon Books

Quiet Street: On American Privilege

Quiet Street: On American Privilege

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A bold and deeply personal exploration of wealth, power, and the American elite, exposing how the ruling class--intentionally or not--perpetuates cycles of injustice

"[A] story about American inequity, and how it mindlessly, immorally, reproduces itself. Unlike most such stories, however, this one left me believing in the possibility...of drastic change." --Maggie Nelson, author of On Freedom

Nick McDonell grew up on New York City's Upper East Side, a neighborhood defined by its wealth and influence. As a child, McDonell enjoyed everything that rarefied world entailed--sailing lessons in the Hamptons, school galas at the Met, and holiday trips on private jets. But as an adult, he left it behind to become a foreign correspondent in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In Quiet Street, McDonell returns to the sidewalks of his youth, exhuming with bracing honesty his upbringing and those of his affluent peers. From Galápagos Island cruises and Tanzanian safaris to steely handshakes and schoolyard microaggressions to fox-hunting rituals and the courtship rites of sexually precocious tweens, McDonell examines the rearing of the ruling class in scalpel-sharp detail, documenting how wealth and power are hoarded, encoded, and passed down from one generation to the next. What's more, he demonstrates how outsiders--the poor, the nonwhite, the suburban--are kept out.

Searing and precise yet ultimately full of compassion, Quiet Street examines the problem of America's one percent, whose vision of a more just world never materializes. Who are these people? How do they cling to power? What would it take for them to share it? Quiet Street looks for answers in a universal experience: coming to terms with the culture that made you.

Author: Nick McDonell
Publisher: Pantheon Books
Published: 08/22/2023
Pages: 144
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 0.60lbs
Size: 8.10h x 4.90w x 0.80d
ISBN: 9780593316788

Review Citation(s):
Kirkus Reviews 05/15/2023
Publishers Weekly 05/22/2023
Library Journal 07/01/2023 pg. 77

About the Author
NICK MCDONELL is the best-selling author of Twelve, The Council of Animals, and several other publications. He is also known for his journalism on wartime Afghanistan, Iraq, and Nepal, with work published in TIME, The New Yorker, and the London Review of Books. McDonnell studied at Harvard and St. Antony's College, Oxford and is from New York City.

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