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1 Burnside American Studies- Labor and Work

Bait and Switch

by

Bait and Switch Cover

ISBN13: 9781862078970
ISBN10: 1862078971
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Review-A-Day

"What is effectively evoked by [Bait and Switch]...is the circus of predators who feed off the hopes and desperation of these job seekers. These are companies or organizations that offer everything from résumé enhancement to career coaching. What comes across in Bait and Switch is how often contradictory the advice and services these companies provide can be." Gerry Donaghy, Powells.com (read the entire Powells.com review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The bestselling author of Nickel and Dimed goes back undercover to do for America's ailing middle class what she did for the working poor.

Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed explored the lives of low-wage workers. Now, in Bait and Switch, she enters another hidden realm of the economy: the shadowy world of the white-collar unemployed. Armed with a plausible résumé of a professional "in transition," she attempts to land a middle-class job — undergoing career coaching and personality testing, then trawling a series of EST-like boot camps, job fairs, networking events, and evangelical job-search ministries. She gets an image makeover, works to project a winning attitude, yet is proselytized, scammed, lectured, and — again and again — rejected.

Bait and Switch highlights the people who've done everything right — gotten college degrees, developed marketable skills, and built up impressive résumés — yet have become repeatedly vulnerable to financial disaster, and not simply due to the vagaries of the business cycle. Today's ultra-lean corporations take pride in shedding their "surplus" employees — plunging them, for months or years at a stretch, into the twilight zone of white-collar unemployment, where job searching becomes a full-time job in itself. As Ehrenreich discovers, there are few social supports for these newly disposable workers — and little security even for those who have jobs.

Like the now classic Nickel and Dimed, Bait and Switch is alternately hilarious and tragic, a searing exposé of economic cruelty where we least expect it.

Review:

"In order to write with authority, one has to spend real time with people inside their institutions. Ehrenreich does not come close, and as a result, Bait and Switch is incomplete." Rocky Mountain News

Review:

"Much of Bait and Switch amounts to nothing more than annotated minutes of group networking sessions and job fairs....Alas, as with New Coke, this derivative of a proven formula falls flat." Alexandra Jacobs, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Unfortunately, Bait and Switch neither rings true nor delivers any real news....Anyone who's actually had a corporate job will see right away that [Ehrenreich] doesn't know what she's talking about." Boston Globe

Review:

"Too often, Ehrenreich discovers issues worthy of scrutiny, only to overshadow them with unrelated anecdotes, snide asides and an overarching disdain for the majority of individuals and ideas she encounters." The Oregonian

Review:

"If you are an over-40 executive who might be losing your job soon...steer clear of...Bait and Switch....The rest of us could have our eyes opened by Ehrenreich's engaging, if flawed, book on what happens when midlife professionals must find jobs." Detroit Free Press

Review:

"[The] writing is taut and engaging. And her concept...does make you want to find out if she succeeds (even though, as the author acknowledges, play-acting joblessness is not the real thing)." Baltimore Sun

Review:

"Another unsettling message about an ugly America from a trustworthy herald. Read it and weep — especially if you're a job-seeker." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"[A] worthy companion to Nickel and Dimed....Bait and Switch is a cautionary tale about the disposability of all American working people — not just those whose parents couldn't send them to the right schools..." The Washington Post

Review:

"Bait and Switch is about a process rather than an end result, and it captures that process all too clearly. As usual, Ms. Ehrenreich makes great, acerbic company for the reader and tells her story knowingly." Janet Maslin, The New York Times

Review:

"[Ehrenreich is] at her best — wry, eloquent, hilarious — describing the charlatans who market themselves as career coaches....Sadly, this new critique lacks the biting, damning firsthand detail that made Dimed such a treat. (Grade: B)" Entertainment Weekly

Synopsis:

Intrigued by reports of increasing poverty and despair within America's white-collar corporate workforce, Barbara Ehrenreich decided to infiltrate their world as an undercover reporter and learn about the problems facing middle-class executives at first hand. Thinking she had set herself a pretty easy challenge, the author was quite unprepared for what happened next.

Ehrenreich found herself entering a shadowy world of Internet job searches, lonely networking events and costly career-coaching sessions, a world in which 'professional' mentors and trainers offer pop-psychology and self-help mantras to desperate would-be employees. Her story is an important one - poignant and blackly funny - that delivers a stark warning about the future that faces corporate employees everywhere and calls for collective action to guard against it.

Synopsis:

The New York Times bestselling investigation into white-collar unemployment from our premier reporter of the underside of capitalism--The New York Times Book Review

Americans' working lives are growing more precarious every day. Corporations slash employees by the thousands, and the benefits and pensions once guaranteed by middle-class jobs are a thing of the past.

In Bait and Switch, Barbara Ehrenreich goes back undercover to explore another hidden realm of the economy: the shadowy world of the white-collar unemployed. Armed with the plausible resume of a professional in transition, she attempts to land a middle-class job. She submits to career coaching, personality testing, and EST-like boot camps, and attends job fairs, networking events, and evangelical job-search ministries. She is proselytized, scammed, lectured, and--again and again--rejected.

Bait and Switch highlights the people who have done everything right--gotten college degrees, developed marketable skills, and built up impressive resumes--yet have become repeatedly vulnerable to financial disaster. There are few social supports for these newly disposable workers, Ehrenreich discovers, and little security even for those who have jobs. Worst of all, there is no honest reckoning with the inevitable consequences of the harsh new economy; rather, the jobless are persuaded that they have only themselves to blame.

Alternately hilarious and tragic, Bait and Switch, like the classic Nickel and Dimed, is a searing expose of the cruel new reality in which we all now live.

About the Author

Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of thirteen books, including the New York Times bestseller Nickel and Dimed. A frequent contributor to Harper's and The Nation, she has been a columnist at the New York Times and Time magazine. She lives in Virginia.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Anne Sistler, October 25, 2008 (view all comments by Anne Sistler)
I wasn't expecting this book to be as sharply amusing and simultaneously critical as Ehrenreich's book, Nickel and Dimed, but it was.

I was laid off for an extended period of time in 2002, so could relate to a lot of the experiences she described. Besides the humor, though, the author illustrates some important points about American society, expectations, and the illusion of job security in these times. The book is worth reading, even if you have a good job (and lots of savings to get you through a spell of unemployment). Ehrenreich explains how the culture of work has shifted dramatically from the 1970's on, leaving all workers vulnerable to job loss and potential poverty.

Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9781862078970
Author:
Ehrenreich, Barbara
Publisher:
Libri
Binding:
TRADE PAPER

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Related Subjects


Featured Titles » History and Social Science
History and Social Science » American Studies » 80s to Present
History and Social Science » American Studies » General
History and Social Science » Politics » Labor
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Poverty
History and Social Science » Sociology » Social Classes
Home and Garden » Household » Pest Control
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

Bait and Switch Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.95 In Stock
Product details pages INGRAM PUBLISHER SERVICES - English 9781862078970 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "What is effectively evoked by [Bait and Switch]...is the circus of predators who feed off the hopes and desperation of these job seekers. These are companies or organizations that offer everything from résumé enhancement to career coaching. What comes across in Bait and Switch is how often contradictory the advice and services these companies provide can be." (read the entire Powells.com review)
"Review" by , "In order to write with authority, one has to spend real time with people inside their institutions. Ehrenreich does not come close, and as a result, Bait and Switch is incomplete."
"Review" by , "Much of Bait and Switch amounts to nothing more than annotated minutes of group networking sessions and job fairs....Alas, as with New Coke, this derivative of a proven formula falls flat."
"Review" by , "Unfortunately, Bait and Switch neither rings true nor delivers any real news....Anyone who's actually had a corporate job will see right away that [Ehrenreich] doesn't know what she's talking about."
"Review" by , "Too often, Ehrenreich discovers issues worthy of scrutiny, only to overshadow them with unrelated anecdotes, snide asides and an overarching disdain for the majority of individuals and ideas she encounters."
"Review" by , "If you are an over-40 executive who might be losing your job soon...steer clear of...Bait and Switch....The rest of us could have our eyes opened by Ehrenreich's engaging, if flawed, book on what happens when midlife professionals must find jobs."
"Review" by , "[The] writing is taut and engaging. And her concept...does make you want to find out if she succeeds (even though, as the author acknowledges, play-acting joblessness is not the real thing)."
"Review" by , "Another unsettling message about an ugly America from a trustworthy herald. Read it and weep — especially if you're a job-seeker."
"Review" by , "[A] worthy companion to Nickel and Dimed....Bait and Switch is a cautionary tale about the disposability of all American working people — not just those whose parents couldn't send them to the right schools..."
"Review" by , "Bait and Switch is about a process rather than an end result, and it captures that process all too clearly. As usual, Ms. Ehrenreich makes great, acerbic company for the reader and tells her story knowingly."
"Review" by , "[Ehrenreich is] at her best — wry, eloquent, hilarious — describing the charlatans who market themselves as career coaches....Sadly, this new critique lacks the biting, damning firsthand detail that made Dimed such a treat. (Grade: B)"
"Synopsis" by , Intrigued by reports of increasing poverty and despair within America's white-collar corporate workforce, Barbara Ehrenreich decided to infiltrate their world as an undercover reporter and learn about the problems facing middle-class executives at first hand. Thinking she had set herself a pretty easy challenge, the author was quite unprepared for what happened next.

Ehrenreich found herself entering a shadowy world of Internet job searches, lonely networking events and costly career-coaching sessions, a world in which 'professional' mentors and trainers offer pop-psychology and self-help mantras to desperate would-be employees. Her story is an important one - poignant and blackly funny - that delivers a stark warning about the future that faces corporate employees everywhere and calls for collective action to guard against it.

"Synopsis" by , The New York Times bestselling investigation into white-collar unemployment from our premier reporter of the underside of capitalism--The New York Times Book Review

Americans' working lives are growing more precarious every day. Corporations slash employees by the thousands, and the benefits and pensions once guaranteed by middle-class jobs are a thing of the past.

In Bait and Switch, Barbara Ehrenreich goes back undercover to explore another hidden realm of the economy: the shadowy world of the white-collar unemployed. Armed with the plausible resume of a professional in transition, she attempts to land a middle-class job. She submits to career coaching, personality testing, and EST-like boot camps, and attends job fairs, networking events, and evangelical job-search ministries. She is proselytized, scammed, lectured, and--again and again--rejected.

Bait and Switch highlights the people who have done everything right--gotten college degrees, developed marketable skills, and built up impressive resumes--yet have become repeatedly vulnerable to financial disaster. There are few social supports for these newly disposable workers, Ehrenreich discovers, and little security even for those who have jobs. Worst of all, there is no honest reckoning with the inevitable consequences of the harsh new economy; rather, the jobless are persuaded that they have only themselves to blame.

Alternately hilarious and tragic, Bait and Switch, like the classic Nickel and Dimed, is a searing expose of the cruel new reality in which we all now live.

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