Once past a rather long-winded introduction, Quart settles into a delightful rhythm, profiling fascinating people and sharing their distinct ways of forming connections and cultivating lives outside the mainstream. Quart’s subjects are often living thoroughly twenty-first-century lives, relying on the Internet and social media to form groups, reach out to like-minded individuals, and share their stories. But the author strays far from the expected, including the producers of the indie-film triumph Beasts of the Southern Wild and Kickstarter phenom musician Amanda Palmer. Readers will be surprised to see thoughtful inclusions of the “neurodiverse” (individuals diagnosed within the autism spectrum) and those defying standard classifications of serious mental illness and challenging our understanding of schizophrenia and bipolarity. More conventionally, Quart dives into the crafting world of Etsy and urban farming in New York City and Detroit, showing time and again that thinking and acting outside the box are often the only way many people can succeed professionally and in their communities. Lots of good food for thought and solid inspiration for those who feel stifled by traditional choices. --Colleen Mondor
A Publishers Weekly Best New Book for the Week of August 5, 2013
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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."