The New Better Off or Reinventing the American Dream by Courtney E. Martin
As the subtitle suggests, Martin wants to redefine “success” and everything associated with that concept in US culture. She is talking about moving the goalposts as defined by mainstream society and popular culture. You know: a job, a marriage, 2.5 kids, a house, a car, 5 TVs, etc.
This is hard, but it is a “beautiful struggle” she says, “to create a life that aligns with their beliefs”.
Throughout her book, Martin runs through a pretty comprehensive collection of the usual suspects: coworking, freelancing, the end of ownership, including home ownership, simplifying, rejiggering parenting, and reinvention of spaces and rituals. She ties them all together with quite a bit of biographical and autobiographical material.
“In the pages I’ve tried to lay out a perhaps idiosyncratic but at least rich breadth of the areas of life you could, if you chose, examine for neglected opportunity.” (p. 257)
Martin is walking the walk. So let’s pay attention to what she has to say.
- Courtney E. Martin, The New Better Off: Reinventing the American Dream, Berkeley, Seal Press, 2016.
Sunday Friday Book Reviews
Readers of this blog know that I routinely post book reviews on Sunday.
This week I will post additional book reviews, one per day. These posts are somewhat longer and more detailed than my usual short note.