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Jessica Bruder

Författare till Nomadland

3 verk 1,286 medlemmar 55 recensioner

Om författaren

Jessica Bruder is an award-winning journalist whose work focuses on subcultures and the dark corners of the economy. She has written for Harper's Magazine, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. Bruder teaches at the Columbia School of Journalism.

Inkluderar namnet: Jessica Bruder

Foto taget av: Jessica Bruder, janv. 2023

Verk av Jessica Bruder

Nomadland (2017) 1,187 exemplar, 52 recensioner
Burning Book: A Visual History of Burning Man (2007) 52 exemplar, 2 recensioner
Snowden's Box: Trust in the Age of Surveillance (2020) 47 exemplar, 1 recension


Allmänna fakta



This book does have a couple of instances of swearing.

It feels so wrong, yet so right to read this book.

If you think you've read and watched everything else related to Ed Snowden, then you're missing an important piece. The box. Which this book tells all about.

“the focus of our book was the human relationships that shepherded Snowden’s box — rather than the material inside”

How much of this story is actually true? That I don't know, but as the book mentions,

“systems are only as reliable as the people who operate them.
“When it all boils down to it,” he concluded, “it is all about personal trust.””

Stories are a great way to hook someone in, and it's interesting the approach that this book took.

““Thanks for making me laugh so hard,” Laura wrote to both of us the next day. It was the last time I’d laugh for a while.”

It's fascinating how the book is structured, telling the main story first, then adding details, then talking about US history and the future.

If you aren't interested in US history, or the US in general, then I feel you can finish the book once the author's dive into that. I felt they expanded too far away from “the box”, and they had to fill the book to be a certain number of pages.

“Society evolves when people can test boundaries and experiment with ways of living outside the mainstream. In a climate of total surveillance, such innovations would halt. The culture would stagnate and conformity would reign.”

“It also reflected what I consider to be one of the great lessons of adulthood: that most of the institutions and endeavors we regard as ironclad — from parenting to politics — are actually held together with chewing gum and duct tape. Nothing truly works, at least not for long, or not in the way it’s supposed to.”
… (mer)
Authentico | Mar 9, 2024 |
Overall: Both interesting and boring. Far too repetitive.

I'll skip the obvious comments and give others:

I've met park stewards that stay at parks as well as people just looking for a spot. I'm actually the volunteer Canal Steward for Carderock and many people talk to me as if I lived there (sometimes asking me if they can). I could imagine doing it for a living in an alternate life.

Surprised the author didn't give some basic stats on the # of people living below the poverty line in the US. Number of people without health insurance. It's staggering.

Washington Post just had an article on sugar beet country in the Business section just 2 weeks ago. The author mentioned that it was considered the least desirable place to live. So he moved there, permanently, and with his family! He liked it! A fragment from that article:

"In the summer of 2015, I wrote about a data set from the U.S. Department of Agriculture called the Natural Amenities Index that ranked every county in the nation by physical attributes, such as climate, landscape and access to water resources.

At the bottom of the list was Red Lake County, a rural farming community in northwest Minnesota. The landscape was implausibly flat. Summers were hot, and winters were brutally cold. Despite its name, it was home to no lakes. I referred to it, half-jokingly, as “America’s Worst Place to Live.”
Subsequent outrage from Minnesotans persuaded me to actually visit the place to see for myself what it was like. To my surprise, I found I liked it quite a bit — so much so that I moved my family there the following spring.

Our move was predicated on a number of factors. There was the sense of adventure inherent in turning our lives upside-down at the whim of a single data point. There were compelling economic factors, including unaffordable housing, the skyrocketing cost of living in the Baltimore-D.C. region and the sense that our family was slowly being torn apart by the relentless forces of long commutes."

… (mer)
donwon | 51 andra recensioner | Jan 22, 2024 |
I couldn't watch the film until I read the book. Now that I've read the book I'm not sure I can watch the film.
Fascinating read about life on the road.
Suem330 | 51 andra recensioner | Dec 28, 2023 |
Essentially, this is the nomad's edition of [b:Nickel and Dimed|1869|Nickel and Dimed On (Not) Getting by in America|Barbara Ehrenreich||1840613] - complete with disdain for pre-employment drug testing, due to the author's recreational use of marijuana.

I've always dreamed of becoming a road-dweller and working the seasonal job circuit, and that's why I read the book. I was hoping to hear more descriptions of the various jobs that these travelers hold, but Bruder only focused on the "big" three that I've already read plenty about: campground hosting, Amazon CamperForce, and sugar beet harvesting.

In the first half of the book, Bruder is more optimistic and, even while discussing why some people are "forced" into the full-time road-dwelling life, makes sure to mention that many of these people love their lives, their freedom, their community, etc. But the second half of the book is written with a more bleak outlook - it was actually rather depressing and discouraging, and I don't know that it's an accurate picture of the road-dwelling community at large. (Bruder focuses primarily on vandwellers with low incomes, especially those that perform low-wage seasonal jobs, but there are many other full-timers who are doing very well financially.)

I did really enjoy the book overall, partly because I've already done so much of my own research in the last several years that I felt like I knew some of the people mentioned in the book before I read it. As with most books striving to stereotype sub-cultures, it should be read with a pinch of salt.

"[According to the Gini coefficient formula, the most accepted method for calculating income inequality,] today the United States has the most unequal society of all developed nations. America's level of inequality is comparable to that of Russia, China, Argentina, and the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo." (p 248)

Note: There are references to evolutionary theory as fact.
… (mer)
RachelRachelRachel | 51 andra recensioner | Nov 21, 2023 |



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