Books for changing the world
Going for Broke
Living on the Edge in the World’s Richest Country

A collection of compelling, hard-hitting essays, documentary poems, and photographs that together expose our punitive social systems from the ground up.

Going for Broke, edited by Alissa Quart, Executive Director of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, and David Wallis, EHRP’s Managing Director, gives voice to a range of gifted writers who know what it means to live on the edge. These are journalists for whom “economic precarity” is more than just another assignment. 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.

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.” Going for Broke champions these writers and rejects the common understanding that those who opine about inequality should come from the top of the income ladder. Featuring introductions by a stellar line-up, including Camonghne Felix, Michelle Tea, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Kathi Weeks, and Astra Taylor, Going for Broke is eye-opening and moving, as well as instructive of the steps we can take to change the stalemate we find ourselves in today.