© 2024 KALW 91.7 FM Bay Area
KALW Public Media / 91.7 FM Bay Area
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Your Call

Bootstrapped: Liberating Ourselves from the American Dream

On this edition of Your Call, journalist Alisa Quart discusses her new book, Bootstrapped: Liberating Ourselves from the American Dream.

The promise that you can “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” is central to the story of the American Dream. It’s the belief that if you work hard and rely on your own resources, you will eventually succeed. Quart explains how we can free ourselves from these self-defeating narratives.


Alissa Quart, executive director of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, and author of five books, including Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America and Bootstrapped: Liberating Ourselves from the American Dream

Web Resources:

KQED Podcast Garage Panel tonight at 6pm: Producing Audio Stories with Care

The New York Times: Can We Put an End to America’s Most Dangerous Myth?

Capital & Main: Held Down by Our Bootstraps

The Nation: Is the American Dream a Long Con?

The Guardian: A national bullying of the poor: the trouble with America’s bootstrapping myth

Rolling Stone: How the Horatio Alger Lie Helped Shape the Myth of American Upward Mobility

Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.
Bee Soll is a producer with Your Call at KALW, and a producer, writer, and editor at KCBS Radio in San Francisco. She is a former reporter for Crosscurrents and contributor at KPFA Radio.