Synopses & Reviews
The New York Times
bestseller, and one of the most talked about books of the year, Nickel and Dimed
has already become a classic of undercover reportage.
Millions of Americans work for poverty-level wages, and one day Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that any job equals a better life. But how can anyone survive, let alone prosper, on $6 to $7 an hour? To find out, Ehrenreich moved from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, taking the cheapest lodgings available and accepting work as a waitress, hotel maid, house cleaner, nursing-home aide, and Wal-Mart salesperson. She soon discovered that even the "lowliest" occupations require exhausting mental and physical efforts. And one job is not enough; you need at least two if you intend to live indoors. Nickel and Dimed reveals low-wage America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and surprising generosity — a land of Big Boxes, fast food, and a thousand desperate strategies for survival. Instantly acclaimed for its insight, humor, and passion, this book is changing the way America perceives its working poor.
"We have Barbara Ehrenreich to thank for bringing us the news of America's working poor so clearly and directly, and conveying with it a deep moral outrage and a finely textured sense of lives as lived. As Michael Harrington was, she is now our premier reporter of the underside of capitalism." Dorothy Gallagher, New York Times Book Review
"Nickel and Dimed is an important book that should be read by anyone who has been lulled into middle-class complacency." Vivien Labaton, Ms. Magazine
"[Ehrenreich's] account is at once enraging and sobering....Mandatory reading for any workforce entrant." School Library Journal
"Jarring, full of riveting grit....This book is already unforgettable." Susannah Meadows, Newsweek
About the Author
Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of twelve books, including the New York Times
bestseller The Worst Years of Our Lives
, as well as Fear of Falling
and Blood Rites
. She lives near Key West, Florida.