How are we doing?
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.