America’s middle class was under attack. The nation’s broad prosperity had been forged by people like my parents—people who knew hardship and conflict and who kept on fighting, determined to pass on something better to their children. But the strength of the middle class was not unlimited. I felt as though I were looking at a once sturdy house that was crumbling: the windows were broken and the roof was caving in. It wasn’t a happy story. Instead, the book was an alarm, a warning that our country was headed in a terrible direction.