Synopses & Reviews
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 taxisnot always successfullyas 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 enforcementwhile 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.
What does it mean to work in the forgotten America where millions toil in the shadow of prosperity? To find out, award-winning journalist Gabriel Thompson spent a year working in the fields and the factories alongside America's invisible poor. The result is a moving and illuminating personal narrative--chosen by Time as "must-read"-- that describes not only the backbreaking labor, minuscule wages, and difficult conditions faced by millions of citizens and immigrants but also their camaraderie and bravery. Working in the Shadows is one of our finest frontline reports on the dark side of American affluence.
An award-winning young investigative journalist goes undercover, living the life of an undocumented immigrant.
About the Author
Gabriel Thompson has contributed to New York, the Nation, the New York Times, and others. He is the recipient of the Richard J. Margolis Award, the Studs Terkel Media Award, and a collective Sidney Hillman Award.