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Working in the Shadows: A Year of Doing the Jobs (Most) Americans Won't Do

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Working in the Shadows: A Year of Doing the Jobs (Most) Americans Won't Do Cover

ISBN13: 9781568584089
ISBN10: 1568584083
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: None
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

What is it like to do the back-breaking work of immigrants? To find out, Gabriel Thompson spent a year working alongside Latino immigrants, who initially thought he was either crazy or an undercover immigration agent. He stooped over lettuce fields in Arizona, and worked the graveyard shift at a chicken slaughterhouse in rural Alabama. He dodged taxis — not always successfully — as a bicycle delivery boy for an upscale Manhattan restaurant, and was fired from a flower shop by a boss who, he quickly realized, was nuts.

As one coworker explained, These jobs make you old quick. Back spasms occasionally keep Thompson in bed, where he suffers recurring nightmares involving iceberg lettuce and chicken carcasses. Combining personal narrative with investigative reporting, Thompson shines a bright light on the underside of the American economy, exposing harsh working conditions, union busting, and lax government enforcement — while telling the stories of workers, undocumented immigrants, and desperate US citizens alike, forced to live with chronic pain in the pursuit of $8 an hour.

Review:

"Thompson (There's No Jos Here) details working alongside undocumented workers in this stirring look at the bottom rung of America's economic ladder. Thompson's project feels initially like a gimmick; that this middle-class white American can go undercover in the lettuce fields of Arizona or the poultry plants of Alabama seems more stunt (or rehash of Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed) than sound journalism. But the warmth with which he describes his co-workers and the heartbreaking descriptions of the demanding, degrading, and low-paying jobs quickly pull the reader in. Gimmick or no, the author pushes his body and his patience to the limits, all the while deferring attention to the true heroes: his co-workers, whose dignity, perseverance, physical endurance, and manual skill are no less admirable for being born of sheer necessity. What emerges are not tales of downtrodden migrants but of clever hands and clever minds forced into repetitive and dangerous labor without legal protections. Thompson excels at putting a human face on individuals and situations alternately ignored and vilified." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

An award-winning young investigative journalist goes undercover, living the life of an undocumented immigrant.

About the Author

Gabriel Thompson writes for New York magazine, The Nation, the Brooklyn Rail, and In These Times. The author of There's No Jose Here, he lives in Brooklyn, New York.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Cyndi Haupt, September 1, 2011 (view all comments by Cyndi Haupt)
This is a great book about things you know about -- but not really. You'll live a different life after reading it.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
shannaingal, April 21, 2010 (view all comments by shannaingal)
This book offers an insight into a world that is often misrepresented and misunderstood. The author holds no pre-conceived notions and he was surprised at what he found. As a reader, I was allowed to share his journey and make those discoveries with him. The humanity, pride and intense sense of community among these workers bring new light into the immigration debate and challenges many assumptions that most Americans seem intent on believing. This book should be a must read for anyone involved in or interested in immigration issues. I can not recommend this book highly enough. If you have a brain and a heart you will be as engrossed in this book as I was and you’ll be writing the next review. I promise.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781568584089
Subtitle:
A Year of Doing the Jobs (Most) Americans Won't Do
Author:
Thompson, Gabriel
Publisher:
Nation Books
Subject:
General Social Science
Subject:
General
Subject:
Immigrants -- United States.
Subject:
Immigrants - Employment - Economic aspects -
Subject:
Labor & Industrial Relations - General
Subject:
Emigration & Immigration
Subject:
Labor
Subject:
Ethnic Studies-Immigration
Copyright:
Edition Description:
First Trade Paper Edition
Publication Date:
20110712
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
from 9
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.50 in
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Business » Human Resource Management
Business » Management
History and Social Science » American Studies » 80s to Present
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » General
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » Immigration
History and Social Science » Politics » Labor
Metaphysics » General
Reference » Science Reference » Philosophy of Science

Working in the Shadows: A Year of Doing the Jobs (Most) Americans Won't Do Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Nation Books - English 9781568584089 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Thompson (There's No Jos Here) details working alongside undocumented workers in this stirring look at the bottom rung of America's economic ladder. Thompson's project feels initially like a gimmick; that this middle-class white American can go undercover in the lettuce fields of Arizona or the poultry plants of Alabama seems more stunt (or rehash of Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed) than sound journalism. But the warmth with which he describes his co-workers and the heartbreaking descriptions of the demanding, degrading, and low-paying jobs quickly pull the reader in. Gimmick or no, the author pushes his body and his patience to the limits, all the while deferring attention to the true heroes: his co-workers, whose dignity, perseverance, physical endurance, and manual skill are no less admirable for being born of sheer necessity. What emerges are not tales of downtrodden migrants but of clever hands and clever minds forced into repetitive and dangerous labor without legal protections. Thompson excels at putting a human face on individuals and situations alternately ignored and vilified." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , An award-winning young investigative journalist goes undercover, living the life of an undocumented immigrant.
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