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    1. Self-Portrait. My new novel, Death and Mr. Pickwick, tells the story of the origins of Charles Dickens's first novel, The Pickwick Papers. Its... Continue »
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      Death and Mr. Pickwick

      Stephen Jarvis 9780374139667

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

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

 

 

Excerpt

It is hotter inside than out, but I do all right until I encounter the banks of glass doors. Each one has to be Windexed, wiped, and buffed-inside and out, top to bottom, left to right, until it's as streakless and invisible as a material substance can be. Outside, I can see construction guys knocking back Gatorade, but the rule is that no fluid or food item can touch a maid's lips when she's inside a house. I sweat without replacement or pause, not in individual drops but in continuous sheets of fluid, soaking through my polo shirt, pouring down the backs of my legs. Working my way through the living room(s), I wonder if Mrs. W. will ever have occasion to realize that every single doodad and object through which she expresses her unique, individual self is, from the vantage point of a maid, only an obstacle on the road to a glass of water.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312626686
Author:
Ehrenreich, Barbara
Publisher:
Picador USA
Author:
Edin, Kathryn J.
Author:
Shaefer, H. Luke
Subject:
Labor
Subject:
Economic Conditions
Subject:
Poverty & Homelessness
Subject:
Business management
Subject:
Politics - General
Subject:
Political Economy
Subject:
Sociology - General
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20110831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
240
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

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America Used Trade Paper
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Product details 240 pages Picador USA - English 9780312626686 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
The story of a kind of poverty in America so deep that we, as a country, don't even think existsfrom a leading national poverty expert who defies convention (New York Times)
"Synopsis" by ,
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.

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