About this item

An unsparing, incisive, yet ultimately hopeful look at how we can shed an American obsession with self-reliance that has made us less equal, less healthy, less productive, and less fulfilledThe promise that you can "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" is central to the story of the American dream. It's the belief that if you work hard and rely on your own resources, you will ultimately succeed. However, time and again we have seen the way this foundational myth, with its emphasis on individual determination, brittle self-sufficiency, and personal accomplishment, does not help us. Instead, as income inequality rises around us, we are left with shame and self-blame for our condition.Acclaimed journalist Alissa Quart argues that at the root of our suffering is the misplaced belief in our own independence and the conviction that we must rely on ourselves alone, a do-it-yourself ethos.

About the Author

Alissa Quart

I am the author of the forthcoming Squeezed: Why Our Families Can't Afford America, the three non-fiction books Branded, Hothouse Kids and Republic of Outsiders and the poetry book Monetized. I am also the Executive Editor of the non-profit the Economic Hardship Reporting Project and write the Outclassed column for The Guardian as well as for publications like The New York Times, The Atlantic and The New York Review of Books. My poetry has appeared in the London Review of Books and The Nation et al. I was a 2018 Columbia University Journalism School Alumni Awardee and was a 2010 Nieman Fellow at Harvard and have been nominated for an Emmy and an ASME. I have also taught at Columbia University's Journalism School and many other universities. You can read more of my work at alissaquart.com or follow me on Twitter @lisquart. I live in New York City with my husband, daughter and hamster.

Read Next Recommendation

Report incorrect product information.