the new better off reinventing the american dream

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The New Better Off

Author : Courtney E. Martin
ISBN : 9781580055802
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 74. 65 MB
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Are we living the good life—and what defines 'good', anyway? Americans today are constructing a completely different framework for success than their parents' generation, using new metrics that TEDWomen speaker and columnist Courtney Martin has termed collectively the "New Better Off". The New Better Off puts a name to the American phenomenon of rejecting the traditional dream of a 9-to-5 job, home ownership, and a nuclear family structure—illuminating the alternate ways Americans are seeking happiness and success. Including commentary on recent changes in how we view work, customs and community, marriage, rituals, money, living arrangements, and spirituality, The New Better Off uses personal stories and social analysis to explore the trends shaping our country today. Martin covers growing topics such as freelancing, collaborative consumption, communal living, and the breaking down of gender roles. The New Better Off is about the creative choices individuals are making in their vocational and personal lives, but it’s also about the movements, formal and informal, that are coalescing around the New Better Off idea—people who are reinventing the social safety net and figuring out how to truly better their own communities.

Perfect Girls Starving Daughters

Author : Courtney E. Martin
ISBN : 9781416539698
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 73. 15 MB
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"Why does every one of my friends have an eating disorder, or, at the very least, a screwed-up approach to food and fitness?" writes journalist Courtney E. Martin. The new world culture of eating disorders and food and body issues affects virtually all -- not just a rare few -- of today's young women. They are your sisters, friends, and colleagues -- a generation told that they could "be anything," who instead heard that they had to "be everything." Driven by a relentless quest for perfection, they are on the verge of a breakdown, exhausted from overexercising, binging, purging, and depriving themselves to attain an unhealthy ideal. An emerging new talent, Courtney E. Martin is the voice of a young generation so obsessed with being thin that their consciousness is always focused inward, to the detriment of their careers and relationships. Health and wellness, joy and love have come to seem ancillary compared to the desire for a perfect body. Even though eating disorders first became generally known about twenty-five years ago, they have burgeoned, worsened, become more difficult to treat and more fatal (50 percent of anorexics who do not respond to treatment die within ten years). Consider these statistics: Ten million Americans suffer from eating disorders. Seventy million people worldwide suffer from eating disorders. More than half of American women between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five would pre fer to be run over by a truck or die young than be fat. More than two-thirds would rather be mean or stupid. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any psychological disease. In Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters, Martin offers original research from the front lines of the eating disorders battlefield. Drawn from more than a hundred interviews with sufferers, psychologists, nutritionists, sociocultural experts, and others, her exposé reveals a new generation of "perfect girls" who are obsessive-compulsive, overachieving, and self-sacrificing in multiple -- and often dangerous -- new ways. Young women are "told over and over again," Martin notes, "that we can be anything. But in those affirmations, assurances, and assertions was a concealed pressure, an unintended message: You are special. You are worth something. But you need to be perfect to live up to that specialness." With its vivid and often heartbreaking personal stories, Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters has the power both to shock and to educate. It is a true call to action and cannot be missed.

Immigrants And The American Dream

Author : William A. V. Clark
ISBN : 157230880X
Genre : Science
File Size : 64. 35 MB
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The United States has absorbed nearly 10 million immigrants in the past decade. This book examines who the new immigrants are, where they live, and who among them are gaining entry into the American middle class. Discussed are the complex factors that promote or hinder immigrant success, as well as the varying opportunities and constraints met by those living in particular regions. Extensive data are synthesized on key dimensions of immigrant achievement: income level, professional status, and rates of homeownership and political participation. Also provided is a balanced analysis of the effects of immigration on broader socioeconomic, geographic, and political trends. Examining the extent to which contemporary immigrants are realizing the American dream, this book explores crucial policy questions and challenges that face our diversifying society.

Paying The Price

Author : Sara Goldrick-Rab
ISBN : 9780226404486
Genre : Education
File Size : 62. 13 MB
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If you are a young person, and you work hard enough, you can get a college degree and set yourself on the path to a good life, right? Not necessarily, says Sara Goldrick-Rab, and with Paying the Price, she shows in damning detail exactly why. Quite simply, college is far too expensive for many people today, and the confusing mix of federal, state, institutional, and private financial aid leaves countless students without the resources they need to pay for it. Drawing on an unprecedented study of 3,000 young adults who entered public colleges and universities in Wisconsin in 2008 with the support of federal aid and Pell Grants, Goldrick-Rab reveals the devastating effect of these shortfalls. Half the students in the study left college without a degree, while less than 20 percent finished within five years. The cause of their problems, time and again, was lack of money. Unable to afford tuition, books, and living expenses, they worked too many hours at outside jobs, dropped classes, took time off to save money, and even went without adequate food or housing. In many heartbreaking cases, they simply left school—not with a degree, but with crippling debt. Goldrick-Rab combines that shocking data with devastating stories of six individual students, whose struggles make clear the horrifying human and financial costs of our convoluted financial aid policies. America can fix this problem. In the final section of the book, Goldrick-Rab offers a range of possible solutions, from technical improvements to the financial aid application process, to a bold, public sector–focused “first degree free” program. What’s not an option, this powerful book shows, is doing nothing, and continuing to crush the college dreams of a generation of young people.

Perfect Girls Starving Daughters

Author : Courtney E. Martin
ISBN : 0425223361
Genre : Health & Fitness
File Size : 78. 47 MB
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Draws on original research and more than one hundred interviews with patients, psychologists, nutritionists, and others to analyze the pervasiveness of eating disorders and body-image-related emotional challenges in today's generation of young women. Reprint.

The Urban Shepherd

Author : Ben Amor
ISBN : 9781457545344
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 41. 40 MB
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The Urban Shepherd He has come a long way both literally and figuratively from his days as a poor shepherd boy in Tunisia, North Africa, but Ben Amor is a symbol of what can happen when you don’t give up and chase the American Dream until it comes true. The successful career man reinvented himself again after a dream in 1983 of children crying because they were dying of starvation. Unable to forget the sound of children crying, he founded Terra-Genesis Inc., a nonprofit agency that began as a way to try to end world hunger through technology. The book tells how a young man’s vision and passion lead him to chase the American Dream in spite of many challenges and people calling him “crazy”. Ben has his own experience with overcoming the odds, a journey he intimately describes in The Urban Shepherd. He shares his joys—and his sorrows—from humble beginnings working hard to survive in Tunisia, serving in the Tunisian Air Force, and moving to the United States to live. Through sharing his personal journey adjusting to a new culture, toxic relationships, professional and personal setbacks, and balancing school, work, and family life, Ben aims to empower readers to chase and reach the American Dream. Keep reading ------- Dreams do come true (www.urbanshepherd.us)

Twelve By Twelve

Author : Bill Powers
ISBN : 9781577318972
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 29. 84 MB
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Why would a successful American physician choose to live in a twelve-foot-by-twelve-foot cabin without running water or electricity? To find out, writer and activist William Powers visited Dr. Jackie Benton in rural North Carolina. No Name Creek gurgled through Benton’s permaculture farm, and she stroked honeybees’ wings as she shared her wildcrafter philosophy of living on a planet in crisis. Powers, just back from a decade of international aid work, then accepted Benton’s offer to stay at the cabin for a season while she traveled. There, he befriended her eclectic neighbors — organic farmers, biofuel brewers, eco-developers — and discovered a sustainable but imperiled way of life. In these pages, Powers not only explores this small patch of community but draws on his international experiences with other pockets of resistance. This engrossing tale of Powers’s struggle for a meaningful life with a smaller footprint proposes a paradigm shift to an elusive “Soft World” with clues to personal happiness and global healing.

The Audacity Of Hope

Author : Barack Obama
ISBN : 9780307382092
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 89. 23 MB
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In July 2004, Barack Obama electrified the Democratic National Convention with an address that spoke to Americans across the political spectrum. One phrase in particular anchored itself in listeners’ minds, a reminder that for all the discord and struggle to be found in our history as a nation, we have always been guided by a dogged optimism in the future, or what Obama called “the audacity of hope.” The Audacity of Hope is Barack Obama’s call for a different brand of politics—a politics for those weary of bitter partisanship and alienated by the “endless clash of armies” we see in congress and on the campaign trail; a politics rooted in the faith, inclusiveness, and nobility of spirit at the heart of “our improbable experiment in democracy.” He explores those forces—from the fear of losing to the perpetual need to raise money to the power of the media—that can stifle even the best-intentioned politician. He also writes, with surprising intimacy and self-deprecating humor, about settling in as a senator, seeking to balance the demands of public service and family life, and his own deepening religious commitment. At the heart of this book is Barack Obama’s vision of how we can move beyond our divisions to tackle concrete problems. He examines the growing economic insecurity of American families, the racial and religious tensions within the body politic, and the transnational threats—from terrorism to pandemic—that gather beyond our shores. And he grapples with the role that faith plays in a democracy—where it is vital and where it must never intrude. Underlying his stories about family, friends, and members of the Senate is a vigorous search for connection: the foundation for a radically hopeful political consensus. A public servant and a lawyer, a professor and a father, a Christian and a skeptic, and above all a student of history and human nature, Barack Obama has written a book of transforming power. Only by returning to the principles that gave birth to our Constitution, he says, can Americans repair a political process that is broken, and restore to working order a government that has fallen dangerously out of touch with millions of ordinary Americans. Those Americans are out there, he writes—“waiting for Republicans and Democrats to catch up with them.” From the Hardcover edition.

The End Of The Suburbs

Author : Leigh Gallagher
ISBN : 9781591846970
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 30. 46 MB
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A Fortune journalist examines why suburbs are transforming and losing their appeal in society-improving ways, citing such factors as shrinking birth and marriage rates, environment-driven preferences for smaller homes and a renaissance in urbanized housing that promotes healthier lifestyles.

The Complacent Class

Author : Tyler Cowen
ISBN : 9781250108692
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 47. 14 MB
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"Since Alexis de Tocqueville, restlessness has been accepted as a signature American trait. Our willingness to move, take risks, and adapt to change have produced a dynamic economy and a tradition of innovation from Ben Franklin to Steve Jobs. The problem, according to ... Tyler Cowen, is that Americans today have broken from this tradition--we're working harder than ever to avoid change ... Cowen [believes that] there are significant collateral downsides attending this comfort, among them heightened inequality and segregation and decreased incentives to innovate and create"--Amazon.com.

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