One of TIMEs Best New Books to Read This SummerBrillianta keen, elegantly written, and scorching account of the American family today. Through vivid stories, sharp analysis and wit, Quart anatomizes the middle classs fall while also offering solutions and hope.Barbara Ehrenreich, author ofNickel and DimedFamilies today are squeezed on every sidefrom high childcare costs and harshemployment policies to workplaces without paid family leave or even dependable and regular working hours. Many realize that attaining the standard of living their parents managed has become impossible.Alissa Quart, executive editor of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, examines the lives of many middle-class Americans who can now barely afford to raise children. Through gripping firsthand storytelling, Quart shows how our country has failed its families. Her subjectsfrom professors to lawyers to caregivers to nurseshave been wrung out by a system that doesnt support them, and enriches only a tiny elite.Interlacing her own experience with close-up reporting on families that are just getting by, Quart reveals parenthood itself to be financially overwhelming, except for the wealthiest. She offers real solutions to these problems, including outlining necessary policy shifts, as well as detailing the DIY tactics some families are already putting into motion, and argues for the cultural reevaluation of parenthood and caregiving.Written in the spirit of Barbara Ehrenreich and Jennifer Senior, Squeezedis an eye-opening page-turner. Powerfully argued, deeply reported, and ultimately hopeful,itcasts a bright, clarifying light on families struggling to thrive in an economy that holds too few options. It will make readers think differently about their lives and those of their neighbors....
|Title||:||Squeezed: Why Our Families Can't Afford America|
|Number of Pages||:||320 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Squeezed » Squeezed: Why Our Families Can't Afford America|
Squeezed: Why Our Families Can't Afford America Reviews
A sort-of Nickel and Dimed but for struggling/downwardly mobile middle-class, educated, under-employed families. It is very well-researched, although she stays primarily within the confines of two-partner M/F families and single moms (rarely, single dads), and lots to think about - although if you already have a lot of anxiety about debt, income, future earnings, job stability etc., this will probably exacerbate that, it's not a calming book.
The difficulty in assessing this subject material is that it is clearly a pressing and urgent issue in today's society and family economics. I've asked the question hundreds of times, "how can the average family afford rent/mortgage, child care, and other essentials in today's America?" The answer: not easily, and not really.
Squeezed arrives at that conclusion quickly, and returns to it frequently. The differing motifs are a nice touch, but it was really difficult to get an idea of how the diffe ...more
I had high hopes for this book having good content but instead it turned out to be more whining than I had hoped. I completely disagree with everytime the author mentioned that people shouldn't blame themselves for where they ended up. The fact that there is zero accountability assigned to the stories that are mentioned really downgraded the quality of this book. Save your money and check it out from your library.
It should be no secret that the middle class has been shrinking for some time, and that income disparity has reached levels not seen in the US since just before the Great Depression. Quart does a very good job of laying out the problems facing the middle class today, with many personal stories to bolster the data. The middle class is being squeezed for a variety of reasons, including the rising cost of living, a shortage of affordable daycare options for working parents, the shrinking of traditi ...more
3.5 stars: 4 stars for the stories, 3 stars for the analysis.
Pregnancy discrimination, devalued caregiving, student loans, predatory for-profit schools and midlife reinvention programs, automation replacing people, gig economy as a poor substitute for good wages, burgeoning student loans: so much to consider
Would be a good book for discussion
There have been a few books out (Evicted, Nickel and Dimed, etc.) that look at poverty, but this book looks at the financial issues of the middle class. Quart examines problems of educated people who can't get a job--professors, teachers, lawyers, nurses--or who simply aren't making enough money, as well as the devaluation of care workers and families. At times the book doesn't quite delve into topics as deeply as I'd like, but overall it's a great comprehensive look at why so many Americans are ...more