The Public Interest

How are we doing?

Jason W. A. Bertsch

Summer 2000

WRITERS often overestimate themselves and their projects, which they consider more important, urgent, and original than they really are. Marc and Marque-Luisa Miringoff, the authors of The Social Health of the Nation: How America is Really Doing, † are a case in point. The book is the culmination of more than a decade of research, and backed by the weight of the Ford and Rockefeller foundations and the work of over two dozen scholars. Thus the Miringoffs begin their book on a grand note: “Although much social data exists on many important aspects of daily life, it is usually not made available in a form that is accessible to the public, to the makers of policy, or to the media.” But this is simply not true. 

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