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Republic of Outsiders: The Power of Amateurs, Dreamers and Rebels Hardcover – January 30, 2014
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"With brief but telling glimpses of the many people she interviews, the author makes connections that wouldn’t otherwise be obvious and places her subjects in historical context. Hers is a liberating vision of interlocking subcultures making themselves up as they go along."
—The Columbus Dispatch
"Quart astutely identifies a cultural phenomenon that includes everyone from songwriter Jill Sobule to anti-establishment schizophrenics, and her careful reporting and vividly rendered characters make the book a vital, engaging read."
"Republic of Outsiders [is] an in-depth, informative and entertaining investigation of the counterculture movements flourishing in the United States...Quart's strong reporting applauds and supports all these walks of life."
"Even if you don’t consider yourself an outsider or a rebel, Quart's book has several lessons for creative work, particularly when it comes to making art outside a heavily commercial system."
"We have met the revolution, and it is us. . . . a groundbreaking study of the increasing influence of cultural outsiders."
—The Philadelphia Inquirer
"And that, in the end, is our highest calling–to become ‘more wholly ourselves.’ Reading this book is a strengthening exercise toward that goal."
"Alissa Quart has given us a rare and fascinating glimpse into America's diverse and burgeoning creative subcultures. If there’s a Republic of Outsiders, I want to apply for citizenship!”
"Alissa Quart is one of the smartest cultural interpreters of her generation. In Republic of Outsiders, she mixes sharp-eyed analysis with an empathetic heart. The result is a great read, and a brand-new lens through which to view outsiders, insiders—and ourselves."
—Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
"As a determined 'outsider' myself, I feel both exposed and vindicated by Alissa Quart. This is an essential account of how and why fringe activism has become central to our culture and politics in a digital age."
—Douglas Rushkoff, author of Present Shock and Life Inc.
"A perceptive, analytical reporter. . . . Quart's profiles are thoroughly researched and admirably evenhanded. . . . . She effectively examines how outsider thinking can supplement, and in some cases supplant, mainstream methods."
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A thought-provoking examination of counterculture through the eyes of those living life just outside the conventional box."
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Top Customer Reviews
Chapter one: She repeatedly, and apparently comfortably, uses the label "schizophrenics"--as if it's both a discretely meaningful medical term and the primary, irrefutable fact of one's personal identity. She lumps together a diverse group of people and reduces their rich, complex identities to a "disease". Her use of this word alone demonstrates a lack of awareness of the 'outsider' experience--as this is the most insulting thing she could possibly write about someone who has been labeled with schizophrenia.
She also uses the term 'patient-survivor' rather that psychiatric survivor. I've never heard the term patient-survivor before! Was it invented to make the truth more palatable to her 'insider' readership?
Finally, she makes the very dangerous suggestion that SSRIs can cause a manic reaction in people with 'underlying bipolar disorder', which isn't true at all. That's a common adverse effect of the drug. This myth is a drug company tactic used to avoid generating bad press, taking responsibility, and losing customers. It's well known that SSRIs can trigger a manic reaction in anyone-about 20-25% (See black box warnings and two decades of research).
I was excited by the topic of chapter one, disappointed by the language and missed opportunities to present a more thoughtful, compassionate look at the 'outsider' position with respect to our current paradigm of mental health care, human rights violations, and its survivor/activist community. Frankly, it's a bummer that she'll make money off of such a breezy investigation of a community which arose out of decades of pain, oppression, and lost or permanently altered lives. Contrary to her portrayals, it's not about being different for fashion's sake.
An interesting read, and it's a good thing we have these groups of people or we'd be living in a world filled with mass-consuming, drug-induced, carbon-copy religion, do-as-your-told robots. The book could get a bit redundant to me at times, however, as the theme is stretched and stretched to make it into a full-length book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Thought this book would be more interesting. Got bored and had to re-read several paragraphs. Did not feel it was written well. Read morePublished 18 months ago by alice mcintire
I really don't know about the book. I haven't read it yet. I purchased it for a friend who wanted it.Published on October 11, 2013 by Maria E. Seinitz
I enjoyed reading about groups of people who have banned together for their cause. There isn't anything in the mainstream I have found providing an inside look at what some people... Read morePublished on August 30, 2013 by NB