What Bootstraps?

Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps is an expression that has a profound resonance for Americans. We like to think of this country as a “land of opportunity,” where anyone can “get ahead” by dint of hard work.

The historical record does not always confirm the truth of those sentiments. Cooperation and communal effort, as much as individual achievement, have just as often been the engines of upward mobility. Prejudice and...

The remainder of this article is only available to paid subscribers.

Print subscribers to Commonweal are entitled to free access to all premium online content. Click here to purchase a print subscription, or if you’re already a print subscriber, register now for premium access.

Online-only subscriptions provide access to all premium online articles for just $34/year or $2.95/month. Click here to subscribe.

Registered users, please log in below:

Topics: 

Share