Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America

One of TIME’s Best New Books to Read This Summer

“Brilliant—a keen, elegantly written, and scorching account of the American family today. Through vivid stories, sharp analysis and wit, Quart anatomizes the middle class’s fall while also offering solutions and hope.” 
   — Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed

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, 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 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.

Written in the spirit of Barbara Ehrenreich and Jennifer Senior, 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.




Melorra Sochet on July 6, 2018 at 3:42 AM.

A great and important read! Finally, an author exposes the dreaded and shameful secret of the growing failure of the American dream- the vast number of Americans who do everything right, play by the rules and still struggle to get by. Quart eloquently and expansively details the real life challenges faced by those many Americans who go to good schools, get good jobs, work hard and still feel like they’re treading water or worse, on the cusp, of falling into poverty. Thank you Quart for taking this complex and critical…

Adam A Piore on July 6, 2018 at 3:49 AM.

An important book, epic in scope. It also reads well on the beach. A fascinating, epic journey across the country that lays bare the tumultuous transformation that affects us all. We’ve all heard a lot about rising income inequality and the disappearing middle-class in passing articles around election time, but Quart digs deep, introducing us to the true reality and revealing both the psychological and very real practical implications these changes are causing for families around the nation. This book is essential reading for anyone hoping to understand…

KittyBoots on July 6, 2018 at 4:16 AM.

It really zips along

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