Book Talk | Squeezed
NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge invites you to a talk with Alissa Quart, executive editor of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, on her new book Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America. She will be in conversation with anthropologist Caitlin Zaloom.
Families today are squeezed on every side—from high childcare costs and harsh employment 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, 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 subjects—from professors to lawyers to caregivers to nurses—have been wrung out by a system that doesn’t 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.
Squeezed is an eye-opening page-turner. Powerfully argued, deeply reported, and ultimately hopeful, it casts 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.
Alissa Quart is the executive editor of the journalism non-profit Economic Hardship Reporting Project. She co-founded its current incarnation with Barbara Ehrenreich. In addition to Squeezed, which was one of Time Magazine’s Best Books of the Summer, she is the author of four previous acclaimed books: Branded, Republic of Outsiders, Hothouse Kids, and the poetry book Monetized. She writes the Outclassed column for The Guardian and has published in several magazines and newspapers, most recently for The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Nation and The New York Review of Books. Her poetry has appeared in The Nation and the London Review of Books, among other publications. She has received an Emmy award, the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism’s 2018 Alumni Award, the LA Press Club Award for Commentary in 2017. She was also a 2010 Nieman fellow at Harvard University, and a finalist for a National Magazine Award.
Caitlin Zaloom is Editor in Chief of Public Books, a diverse review magazine of public scholarship, which she founded with Sharon Marcus. A cultural anthropologist and Associate Professor at NYU, Zaloom is the author of Out of the Pits: Traders and Technology from Chicago to London (University of Chicago Press 2006) and is currently completing a book, Home Economics: Finance and Family in the Age of Student Debt, that examines how the financial economy has reshaped relationships between middle class American parents and children. Zaloom has earned awards and fellowships for her work from the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, the Russell Sage Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council. She is also a senior fellow of NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge (IPK) and an organizer of the IPK Oikos working group.