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ChatChat - Claudia Cragg

Dec 23, 2014

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In this interview, journalist Claudia Cragg speaks here with Linda Tirado about her thought-provoking and (to some) controversial Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America. Unlike the sheltered, ivory-tower social scientists who usually write about poverty, Tirado is an actual poor person. Or at least, she was. Last fall she posted a lengthy response to someone in an online forum who asked why poor people make decisions that seem so self-destructive. Her essay went viral and before long the shrewd and politically savvy Tirado had crowdfunded more than $60,000 to write a book. No longer officially poor, Tirado has endured a backlash from those suggesting she’s a fraud — which only proves her point that it’s easier to dismiss poor people than to listen to them.

But in Hand to Mouth, Tirado, married to an Iraq War veteran and the mother of two, forces us to listen.