Alissa Quart’s New Book “Bootstrapped” Reviewed in The Atlantic
The Horatio Alger Association is one of the institutions that Alissa Quart, a journalist and the executive director of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, critiques in her new book, Bootstrapped: Liberating Ourselves From the American Dream. In a wide-ranging 230 pages, Quart challenges our nation’s obsession with self-reliance. According to Quart, the fiction that anyone who works hard can have a better life increases inequality and promotes policies that hurt us. Meanwhile, blaming people for their supposedly bad choices is “a kind of nationwide bullying” that the poor internalize. Bootstrapped puts words to beliefs that I struggled to articulate as a teen and that haunted me into adulthood: Both success and failure were up to me alone, I was valuable only when I triumphed, and if I couldn’t overcome, I’d be better off dead.
Read the full review in The Atlantic.