Alissa Quart and David Wallis, "Going for Broke: Living on the Edge in the World's Richest Country" (Haymarket, 2023)


Going for Broke: Living on the Edge in the World's Richest Country (Haymarket, 2023), edited by Alissa Quart, Executive Director of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, and David Wallis, former Managing Director of EHRP, gives voice to a range of gifted writers for whom "economic precarity" is more than just another assignment. All illustrate what the late Barbara Ehrenreich, who conceived of EHRP, once described as "the real face of journalism today: not million dollar-a-year anchorpersons, but low-wage workers and downwardly spiraling professionals."

One essayist and grocery store worker describes what it is like to be an "essential worker" during the pandemic; another reporter and military veteran details his experience with homelessness and what would have actually helped him at the time. These dozens of fierce and sometimes darkly funny pieces reflect the larger systems that have made writers' bodily experiences, family and home lives, and work far harder than they ought to be.

Featuring introductions by luminaries including Michelle Tea, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, and Astra Taylor, Going for Broke is revelatory. It shows us the costs of income inequality to our bodies and our minds--and demonstrates real ways to change our conditions.

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Thomas Discenna

Tom Discenna is Professor of Communication at Oakland University whose work examines issues of academic labor and communicative labor more broadly.

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