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The Betrayal of Work: How Low-Wage Jobs Fail 30 Million Americans and Their Familiesby Beth Shulman
Synopses & Reviews
How the United States turns its back on the working poor.
An astonishing 35 million Americans work full time but do not make a living wage. They are nursing home staff, poultry processors, pharmacy assistants, ambulance drivers, child care workers, data entry keyers, janitors. Indeed, one in four American workers lives in or near poverty. Despite the great wealth of the United States, these low-wage employees have lower living standards than comparable workers in other industrial nations.
Beth Shulman spent several years traveling across the country talking to those living on low wages. In writing The Betrayal of Work, she provides the fullest portrait of America's working poor, dispelling a number of myths along the way: that lower unemployment has meant better living conditions for the poor; that making bad jobs into good jobs requires insurmountably difficult reforms; that low-wage work is always low-skilled. Following in the footsteps of Barbara Ehrenreich's bestselling Nickel and Dimed, The Betrayal of Work is sure to be one of the most talked about public policy books of the year.
"An impassioned and well-documented book." E. J. Dionne, Jr.
"Shulman's book lacks the verve and wow factor of Nickel and Dimed....The anecdotes often come across as overly broad and pandering....[M]any of the examples...will come as no surprise to anyone who regularly picks up a newspaper." Publishers Weekly
"Betrayal shows how working lives can get nasty fast....Betrayal is less anecdotal [than Nickel and Dimed], more filled with facts and footnotes." Linda M. Castellitto, USA Today
Shulman spent several years traveling across the country talking to those living on low wages. In writing The Betrayal of Work, she provides the fullest portrait of America's working poor. Following in the footsteps of Barbara Ehrenreich's bestselling Nickel and Dimed, this is sure to be one of the most talked about public policy books of the year.
Following its publication in hardcover, the critically acclaimed Betrayal of Work became one of the most influential policy books about economic life in America; it was discussed in the pages of Newsweek, Business Week, Fortune, The Washington Post, Newsday, and USA Today, as well as in public policy journals and in broadcast interviews, including a one-on-one with Bill Moyers on PBSs NOW. The American Prospects James K. Galbraiths praise was typical: Shulmans slim and graceful book is a model combination of compelling portraiture, common sense, and understated conviction.”
Beth Shulmans powerfully argued book offers a full program to address the injustice faced by the 30 million Americans who work full time but do not make a living wage. As the influential Harvard Business School newsletter put it, Shulman specifically outlines how structural changes in the economy may be achieved, thus expanding opportunities for all Americans.” This edition includes a new afterword that intervenes in the post-election debate by arguing that low-wage work is an urgent moral issue of our time.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 185-240) and index.
About the Author
Beth Shulman is a labor consultant and former vice president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union in Washington, DC. She lives in the Washington DC. area.
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