JUNK: Digging Through America’s Love Affair With Stuff

Hardcover – April 1, 2016

“Finally, a book that explains my lava lamp, boxes of cassette tapes, and three pairs of clogs. Thank you, Alison Stewart! This book is overdue, and
I promise not to put it on one of my piles.”

— Hoda Kotb, cohost of the Today Show

“To my dear beloved survivors: when you one day clean out my basement, you’ll find a copy of Alison Stewart’s Junk. Sit down on the pile of New Yorkers, turn on that halogen floor lamp I used in college, crack open a can of Jolt Cola (you’ll find about three cases), and read about why all the stuff around you isn’t necessarily junk —except for that stack of VHS tapes. That’s just crap.”

—Mo Rocca, correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning
and host of Your Grandmother’s Ravioli

“Somebody’s going to say it, so let me be the first: Junk is a treasure. It’s an enlightening look into our modern world featuring space garbage, spam, and chicken-shaped table lamps. Buy it, read it, and store it in the attic.”

—A. J. Jacobs, author of The Know-It-All and The Year of Living Biblically

“If you suspect that you are holding onto things that hold you back in your life, you want to read Junk by Alison Stewart. Whether they are the physical items stuck in a drawer or ideas stuck in your head, Junk will make you think about what you keep and why.”

—Cheryl Hunter, Life Coach and author of
“Lose It: Turn Setbacks into Success

Why do smart, successful people hold on to old Christmas bows, chipped knick-knacks, and books they will likely never reread? Junk details Stewart’s three-year investigation into America’s stuff. Stewart rides along with junk removal teams like Trash Daddy, Annie Haul, and Junk Vets. She goes backstage at Antiques Roadshow, and learns what makes for compelling junk-based television with the executive producer of Pawn Stars. And she even investigates the growing problem of space junk—23,000 pieces of manmade debris orbiting the planet at 17,500 mph, threatening both satellites and human space exploration.


FIRST CLASS: The Legacy of Dunbar,
America’s First Black Public High School


First Class tells the extraordinary history of the first black public high school in the United States, from its humble beginnings in a church basement during Reconstruction, to its pinnacle as an academic powerhouse rivaling the elite white public and private institutions in spite of and oddly due to segregation, to its rapid descent to an overlooked chaotic urban school with some of the worst …



Stewart hosted the debut season of the TED Radio Hour, named by the editors at iTunes the Best New Audio podcast of 2012.


With twenty years experience in the news media, Alison Stewart has interviewed Presidents and pop stars. She has worked for all the major networks as well as NPR and PBS.