In Milwaukee, a Family’s Struggle for Survival


In 1991, when Bill Moyers first began following the lives of Claude and Jackie Stanley, the parents of five had just been laid off from well-paying manufacturing jobs in Milwaukee.

They’ve been battling to keep from sliding into poverty ever since.

Two American Families, a 90-minute FRONTLINE documentary premiering July 9, tells the Stanleys’ story — and that of another Milwaukee family, the Neumanns — all the way up to the present, and raises troubling questions about trends toward part-time, low-wage work in America.

In this excerpt from Two American Families, meet Claude and Jackie, now approaching retirement age, and their son, Keith, now grown.

“My heart goes out to that generation that was promised something from America, by America — that they would have a better life. And that’s not the case anymore,” Keith tells Moyers.

Bill Moyers will appear tonight (June 26) on The Colbert Report to discuss Two American Families. The documentary premieres July 9 on FRONTLINE (check local PBS listings).

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