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Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America

by

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Our sharpest and most original social critic goes "undercover" as an unskilled worker to reveal the dark side of American prosperity.

Millions of Americans work full time, year round, for poverty-level wages. In 1998, Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that a job — any job — can be the ticket to a better life. But how does anyone survive, let alone prosper, on $6 an hour? To find out, Ehrenreich left her home, took the cheapest lodgings she could find, and accepted whatever jobs she was offered. Moving from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, she worked as a waitress, a hotel maid, a cleaning woman, a nursing-home aide, and a Wal-Mart sales clerk. She lived in trailer parks and crumbling residential motels. Very quickly, she discovered that no job is truly "unskilled," that even the lowliest occupations require exhausting mental and muscular effort. She also learned that one job is not enough; you need at least two if you int to live indoors.

Nickel and Dimed reveals low-rent America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and surprising generosity — a land of Big Boxes, fast food, and a thousand desperate stratagems for survival. Read it for the smoldering clarity of Ehrenreich's perspective and for a rare view of how "prosperity" looks from the bottom. You will never see anything — from a motel bathroom to a restaurant meal — in quite the same way again.

About the Author

Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of Nickel and Dimed, Blood Rites, The Worst Years of Our Lives (a New York Times bestseller), Fear of Falling, which was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award, and eight other books. A frequent contributor to Time, Harper's, Esquire, The New Republic, Mirabella, The Nation, and The New York Times Magazine, she lives near Key West, Florida.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312626686
Author:
Ehrenreich, Barbara
Publisher:
Picador USA
Subject:
Labor
Subject:
Economic Conditions
Subject:
Poverty & Homelessness
Subject:
Business management
Subject:
Politics - General
Subject:
Political Economy
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20110831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

Business » Human Resource Management
Business » Management
Featured Titles » Staff Picks
History and Social Science » American Studies » 80s to Present
History and Social Science » American Studies » Poverty
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » Labor
History and Social Science » Sociology » American Studies
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Poverty

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