ProPublica expanded its e-book offerings today with the launch of “The Breakdown: How Politics and Government Really Work, and Why They Don’t,” a compilation of long-form stories that deeply examine the American political system. The nonprofit newsroom began publishing the series last year, just as the contentious 2016 presidential contest was getting underway, opting to leave the day-in, day-out coverage to others in pursuit of investigations into the underlying changes in 21st century politics and government. Now readers can buy 18 of these stories in one collection for download on iPad, Kindle and other mobile devices.
The e-book’s title refers to the palpable feeling among many voters that the machinery of government has failed them or has been hijacked by special interests. More literally, the stories also seek to “break down” the system to better understand how it works, or fails to.
“While there’s nothing especially new about bitter political division in Washington, every era has its defining characteristics,” said ProPublica senior editor Lawrence Roberts, who leads the series. “It’s the responsibility of journalism to bring them into focus, as understanding is the prerequisite to change.”
Among other topics, the book’s long reads connect the evolution of the white working class to the rise of Donald Trump, track how looser rules on campaign contributions have supercharged the role of the wealthiest Americans, map the little-known avenues of influence at all levels of government, and expose why Washington spins its wheels on some of the biggest challenges of our time.
Readers can purchase “The Breakdown” and other ProPublica collections on Amazon.