Courtney E. Martin - Author / Speaker / Blogger
Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters The Naked Truth: Young, Beautiful and (HIV) Positive DO IT ANYWAY: The New Generation of Activists Project Rebirth: Survival and the Strength of the Human Spirit from 9/11 Survivors The New Better Off: Reinventing the American Dream
Twitter Facebook



The New Better Off: Reinventing the American Dream
By Courtney E. Martin
Seal Press, 2016

NewBetterOff-frontcover[1]“When a moment and a voice align perfectly, you get a book like The New Better Off. Martin reimagines success and purpose in ways counterintuitive and wise. This is our future speaking the language of our ancestors. Listen closely.”
Eric P. Liu, Founder & CEO, Citizen University

For the first time in history, the majority of American parents do not believe that their kids will be better off than they were. While some may see this as sad, Courtney reads it as a provocation: better off based on whose standards?

In this wide-ranging exploration of how the American Dream is being reinvented in the wake of the Great Recession, Courtney asks the biggest and most neglected of questions: how should we work? how should we live? how should we celebrate and mourn? Through profiles of everyone from home health care attendants to inventors to philosophers, and in-depth research and reporting, she paints a vivid picture of a new America, one where being better off is more about community and creativity than dollars and cents.


The New Better Off was released on September 13, 2016 by Seal Press.
The book is now available in print and ebook form through the following booksellers:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | IndieBound | Indigo (Canada) | Powell’s Books
Amazon (Kindle) | Barnes & Noble (Nook) | Apple iTunes | Kobo


Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists
By Courtney E. Martin
Beacon Press, 2010

Do It Anyway asks the most difficult question possible: how can I make my life meaningful? The answers are varied, transformational, and necessary for us all.”
Jane Fonda

Do It Anyway explores the lives and motivations of eight activists–not superhuman heroes, but ordinary young people searching for their own way to make a difference. Among others, we meet Raul Diaz, a prison re-entry social worker at Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles; Nia Robinson, an African American climate-change activist in Washington, D.C.; Maricela Guzman of California, a former soldier fighting to end violence against women in the military; and Rosario Dawson, an actor struggling to use her celebrity for social change while staying authentic in her activism. In direct opposition to an older generation’s cry that young people are apathetic and disengaged, Do It Anyway introduces a new generation of activists drawn to the kind of work that keeps you up at night because you believe in it so deeply.


Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: How the Quest for Perfection is Harming Young Women
By Courtney E. Martin
Simon & Schuster, 2007

 “I’m the mother of two teenage girls, so Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters hit me like a hardcover punch in the gut. Courtney E. Martin sounds a clarion call for all of us–mothers, daughters, pundits–to stop counting calories and start changing the world.”
Arianna Huffington

This eye-opening look at twenty-first century culture and its impact on women reveals how food and weight obsession, driven in no small part by images of celebrities openly wasting away, threatens a new generation of girls as the feminist exhortation that “you can do anything” is twisted into “you must do everything.” Martin argues passionately that women must commit themselves to developing new attitudes about their bodies, and redirect the negative energy they spend on denying themselves contentment in order to become re-engaged with the possibilities of a better life.


Project Rebirth: Survival and the Strength of the Human Spirit from 9/11 Survivors
By Dr. Robin Stern & Courtney E. Martin
Dutton / Penguin Press, 2011

In Project Rebirth, a psychologist and a journalist examine the lives of eight people who were directly affected by the events of September 11, 2001. Written concurrently with the filming of a forthcoming documentary, it is uniquely positioned to tackle the questions raised about how people react in the face of crippling grief, how you maintain hope for a future when your life as you knew it is destroyed, and the amazing ability of humans to focus on the positive aspects of day-to-day living in the face of tragedy. Not a book that recounts the events of that day, and not a book about grief, Project Rebirth is a book about resilience and finding inner peace.




Click: When We Knew We Were Feminists
Edited by J. Courtney Sullivan & Courtney E. Martin
Seal Press, 2010

“You know how little kids say, ‘It’s not fair!’ and ‘You are not the boss of me!” That innate sense of fairness is the earliest source of every revolution–including feminism…Read this diverse, touching and entertaining anthology of “Click!” stories to find a fairness that is all your own.”
Gloria Steinem

When did you know you were a feminist? Whether it happened at school, at work, while watching tv, or reading a book, many women can point to a particular moment in which they knew they were feminists. In Click, a range of women–including Jessica Valenti, Amy Richards, Shelby Knox, Winter Miller, and Jennifer Baumgardner–share stories about how that moment took shape for them. Through these diverse narratives, editors Courtney E. Martin and J. Courtney Sullivan tackle the questions of what makes a feminist, what it means to be one, and how that identity shifts and grows over time–and they emerge with an honest picture of the role of feminism in the lives of young women today.


The Naked Truth: Young, Beautiful and (HIV) Positive
By Marvelyn Brown with Courtney E. Martin
Harper Collins, 2008

“Marvelyn Brown takes a bold approach to speak to our youth with enough honesty and frankness, everybody should be listening! She is an inspiration to men and women everywhere!”

The surprisingly hopeful story of how an everyday girl contracted HIV and how she manages to stay upbeat, inspired, and more positive about life than ever before. It is an inspirational memoir that shares how an everyday teen refused to give up on herself, even as others would forsake her. More, it’s a cautionary tale that every parent, guidance counselor, and young adult should read.


Each week, Courtney sends out a brief email newsletter with three endorsements (stuff like write a real letter, not buy this blender). She also sends out essays on occasion. Join thousands of others by signing up here. It's free.

© 2021 Courtney E. Martin • Design by John CaryWeb Development