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Foreclosure Defense Florida

MUST READ! GEORGE PACKER’S “The Unwinding”- A Critical Analysis of Amerika in Decay

Danny Hartzell grew up near Pittsburgh, the son of an alcoholic father who left him largely unsupervised. His wife, Ronale, was also raised by parents who were alcoholics, and her mother drank rubbing alcohol when the other kind wasn’t available. Often they lived out of their car, and Ronale went to bed hungry when her mother was too drunk or unable to feed her.

Danny and Ronale met and fell in love in Tampa. Both dropped out of high school. When the recession hit in 2008, Danny was laid off from his $10-an-hour job at a factory that made plastic bags. He was in his late 30s, short, overweight, deaf in one ear and missing several teeth. His voice was loud and hoarse. Ronale was also obese and missing teeth. She suffered from diabetes.

They were fiercely attached to each other and to their children, but had few connections beyond that. As George Packer writes in ” The Unwinding,” a gripping narrative survey of contemporary America, the Hartzells were ” estranged from their surviving relatives, most of whom were heavy drinkers. They had few friends, and no church (though they were Christian) or union (though they were working class) or block association (though they wished the area was safe enough for the kids to go trick-or- ­treating). They hardly gave a thought to politics.”

In the spring of 2009, their daughter was found to be suffering from bone cancer in her left leg. The next 18 months were consumed by her treatment. Cockroaches infested their apartment. Ronale stopped cooking, and they lived off pizza, Velveeta Cheesy Skillets and Salisbury steaks, which were $2.28 for a package of six. Danny got a part-time job at Target, but one morning he was told to come in when his daughter had a doctor’s appointment. He didn’t bother to call to get the day off. He just didn’t show up and ended up losing his job.

NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW

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