Jessica Bruder

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Jessica Bruder

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Member Since
September 2017

Jessica Bruder is a journalist who writes about subcultures and resilience.

For her most recent book, "Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century" (W.W. Norton & Co.), she spent months living in a camper van, documenting itinerant Americans who gave up traditional housing and hit the road full time, enabling them to travel from job to job and carve out a place for themselves in our precarious economy. The project spanned three years and more than 15,000 miles of driving—from coast to coast and from Mexico to the Canadian border.

Jessica has been teaching at Columbia Journalism School since 2008. She has written for publications including Harper's Magazine, The Nation, WIRED, The Washington Post, The Associated Press, The Interna

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“THERE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN ITINERANTS, drifters, hobos, restless souls. But now, in the second millennium, a new kind of wandering tribe is emerging. People who never imagined being nomads are hitting the road. They’re giving up traditional houses and apartments to live in what some call “wheel estate”—vans, secondhand RVs, school buses, pickup campers, travel trailers, and plain old sedans. They are driving away from the impossible choices that face what used to be the middle class. Decisions like: Would you rather have food or dental work? Pay your mortgage or your electric bill? Make a car payment or buy medicine? Cover rent or student loans? Purchase warm clothes or gas for your commute? For many the answer seemed radical at first. You can’t give yourself a raise, but what about cutting your biggest expense? Trading a stick-and-brick domicile for life on wheels?”
Jessica Bruder, Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

“A deepening class divide makes social mobility all but impossible. The result is a de facto caste system. This is not only morally wrong but also tremendously wasteful. Denying access to opportunity for large segments of the population means throwing away vast reserves of talent and brainpower. It’s also been shown to dampen economic growth.”
Jessica Bruder, Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

“Some call them "homeless." The new nomads reject that label. Equipped with both shelter and transportation, they've adopted a new word. They refer to themselves, quite simply, as "houseless”
Jessica Bruder, Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

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