The freedom of the individual to aim high is a deeply rooted part of the American ethos but we rarely acknowledge its flip side: failure. If people are responsible for their individual successes, is the same true of their failures? The Failed Individual brings together a variety of disciplinary approaches to explore how people fail in the United States and the West at large, whether economically, politically, socially, culturally, or physically. How do we understand individual failure, especially in the context of the zero-sum game of international capitalism? And what new spaces of resistance, or even pleasure, might failure open up for people and society?