Nickel and Dimed

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Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich Summary

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.

Nickel and Dimed

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Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich Summary

The sharp social critic and author of Blood Rites looks underneath the illusion of American prosperity at poverty and hopelessness in America. Reprint. 100,000 first printing.

Nickel and Dimed

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Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich Summary

The sharp social critic and author of Blood Rites looks underneath the illusion of American prosperity at poverty and hopelessness in America.

Nickel and Dimed

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Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich Summary

The bestselling, landmark work of undercover reportage, now updated Acclaimed as an instant classic upon publication, "Nickel and Dimed" has sold more than 1.5 million copies and become a staple of classroom reading. Chosen for "one book" initiatives across the country, it has fueled nationwide campaigns for a living wage. Funny, poignant, and passionate, this revelatory firsthand account of life in low-wage America--the story of Barbara Ehrenreich's attempts to eke out a living while working as a waitress, hotel maid, house cleaner, nursing-home aide, and Wal-Mart associate--has become an essential part of the nation's political discourse. Now, in a new afterword, Ehrenreich shows that the plight of the underpaid has in no way eased: with fewer jobs available, deteriorating work conditions, and no pay increase in sight, "Nickel and Dimed" is more relevant than ever.

Nickel and Dimed - Prekäre Arbeitsverhältnisse im Niedriglohnsektor der heutigen USA

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Nickel and Dimed - Prekäre Arbeitsverhältnisse im Niedriglohnsektor der heutigen USA by Sarah Pelekies Summary

Magisterarbeit aus dem Jahr 2008 im Fachbereich Amerikanistik - Kultur und Landeskunde, Note: 1,3, Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin, 64 Quellen im Literaturverzeichnis, Sprache: Deutsch, Abstract: Die Aufdeckung gesellschaftlicher Missstande gehort zur Aufgabe des besonders in den USA traditionsreichen investigativen Journalismus. In ihrem 2001 erschienenden Undercoverbericht Nickel and Dimed' hat die Journalistin und Sozialkritikerin Barbara Ehrenreich die Arbeitsverhaltnisse im Niedriglohnsektor der USA an die Offentlichkeit gebracht. Dadurch hat sie nicht nur einen oftmals vergessenen Wirtschaftsbereich fokussiert, sondern auch die prekaren Arbeitsbedingungen der Unterschicht eindrucksvoll dargestellt. Durch Nickel and Dimed' wird die auch von der Sozialreform 1996 propagierte Annahme widerlegt, Arbeit allein reiche aus, der Armut zu entkommen. Dem widersprechen zudem die Zahlen offizieller Statistiken, nach denen sich die Anzahl der working poor" zur Zeit Ehrenreichs Recherche auf 6,4 Millionen belief. Die der U.S.-amerikanischen Gesellschaft zugrunde liegenden Wertvorstellungen, wie die Betonung des Individualismus und das Festhalten an dem Horatio Alger Mythos, bilden dazu die Basis dieser Problematik, in der sich vor allem auch die drastischen Klassenunterschiede in den USA widerspiegeln. In der vorliegenden Arbeit werden sowohl aus einer literarischen als auch kulturellen Perspektive Nickel and Dimed' und die darin aufgeworfenen Problematiken eingehend betrachtet. Der Fokus liegt dabei auf den working poor" an sich sowie deren Arbeitsbedingungen im Besonderen. Hierbei ist vor allem die von Ehrenreich verwendete Methodik zur Einflussnahme auf ihre Leser/-innen von Bedeutung. Die Art und Weise der Einflussnahme wird herausgearbeitet ebenso wie die Bedeutung der Klassenzugehorigkeit der jeweiligen Akteure.

Nickel and Dimed

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Nickel and Dimed by Joan Holden Summary

THE STORY: Can a middle-aged, middle-class woman survive, when she suddenly has to make beds all day in a hotel and live on $7 an hour? Maybe. But one $7-an-hour job won't pay the rent: she'll have to do back-to-back shifts, as a chambermaid and a

Bait and Switch

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Bait and Switch by Barbara Ehrenreich Summary

The bestselling author of Nickel and Dimed goes back undercover to do for America's ailing middle class what she did for the working poor Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed explored the lives of low-wage workers. Now, in Bait and Switch, she enters another hidden realm of the economy: the shadowy world of the white-collar unemployed. Armed with a plausible résumé of a professional "in transition," she attempts to land a middle-class job—undergoing career coaching and personality testing, then trawling a series of EST-like boot camps, job fairs, networking events, and evangelical job-search ministries. She gets an image makeover, works to project a winning attitude, yet is proselytized, scammed, lectured, and—again and again—rejected. Bait and Switch highlights the people who've done everything right—gotten college degrees, developed marketable skills, and built up impressive résumés—yet have become repeatedly vulnerable to financial disaster, and not simply due to the vagaries of the business cycle. Today's ultra-lean corporations take pride in shedding their "surplus" employees—plunging them, for months or years at a stretch, into the twilight zone of white-collar unemployment, where job searching becomes a full-time job in itself. As Ehrenreich discovers, there are few social supports for these newly disposable workers—and little security even for those who have jobs. Like the now classic Nickel and Dimed, Bait and Switch is alternately hilarious and tragic, a searing exposé of economic cruelty where we least expect it.

WORST YEARS OF OUR LIVES

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WORST YEARS OF OUR LIVES by Barbara Ehrenreich Summary

Presents an offbeat look back at the 1980s that covers topics ranging from the bright side of nuclear war to feminism, couch potatoes, Yuppies, and televangelism

Below the Breadline

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Below the Breadline by Fran Abrams Summary

A poignant and brilliant account of trying to live in Britain today on the minimum wage - £4.10 an hour Fran Abrams was commissioned by the Guardian to work as a night cleaner at the Savoy - living on (or as it turned out - below) the minimum wage. A short version of that experience appeared in the paper in January 2002. For Profile, she spent a month living on (in fact below) the minimum wage in South Yorkshire working in a pickle factory and then another month in Scotland working as a care assistant. In the tradition of George Orwell_s Down & Out in London & Paris, this book shows what it is like to try to live on £4.10 an hour. Where can you live? What can you afford to eat? Or do in the evening? What are the jobs - and the workmates and bosses like? This book, in entertaining prose, sympathetic portraits and a telling eye for detail reveals all - including the extraordinary differences across the length of Britain.

Natural Causes

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Natural Causes by Barbara Ehrenreich Summary

A New York Times bestseller! From the celebrated author of Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich explores how we are killing ourselves to live longer, not better. A razor-sharp polemic which offers an entirely new understanding of our bodies, ourselves, and our place in the universe, NATURAL CAUSES describes how we over-prepare and worry way too much about what is inevitable. One by one, Ehrenreich topples the shibboleths that guide our attempts to live a long, healthy life -- from the importance of preventive medical screenings to the concepts of wellness and mindfulness, from dietary fads to fitness culture. But NATURAL CAUSES goes deeper -- into the fundamental unreliability of our bodies and even our "mind-bodies," to use the fashionable term. Starting with the mysterious and seldom-acknowledged tendency of our own immune cells to promote deadly cancers, Ehrenreich looks into the cellular basis of aging, and shows how little control we actually have over it. We tend to believe we have agency over our bodies, our minds, and even over the manner of our deaths. But the latest science shows that the microscopic subunits of our bodies make their own "decisions," and not always in our favor. We may buy expensive anti-aging products or cosmetic surgery, get preventive screenings and eat more kale, or throw ourselves into meditation and spirituality. But all these things offer only the illusion of control. How to live well, even joyously, while accepting our mortality -- that is the vitally important philosophical challenge of this book. Drawing on varied sources, from personal experience and sociological trends to pop culture and current scientific literature, NATURAL CAUSES examines the ways in which we obsess over death, our bodies, and our health. Both funny and caustic, Ehrenreich then tackles the seemingly unsolvable problem of how we might better prepare ourselves for the end -- while still reveling in the lives that remain to us.

Had I Known

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Had I Known by Barbara Ehrenreich Summary

A new selection of the most provocative, incendiary, and career-making pieces by bestselling author, essayist, political activist, and "veteran muckraker" (The New Yorker) Barbara Ehrenreich. A self-proclaimed "myth buster by trade," Barbara Ehrenreich has covered an extensive range of topics as a journalist and political activist, and is unafraid to dive into intellectual waters that others deem too murky. Now, Had I Known gathers the articles and excerpts from a long-ranging career that most highlight Ehrenreich's brilliance, social consciousness, and wry wit. From Ehrenreich's award-winning article "Welcome to Cancerland," published shortly after she was diagnosed with breast cancer, to her groundbreaking undercover investigative journalism in Nickel and Dimed, to her exploration of death and mortality in the New York Times bestseller, Natural Causes, Barbara Ehrenreich has been writing radical, thought-provoking, and worldview-altering pieces for over four decades. Her reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, The Atlantic Monthly, and the Los Angeles Times Book Review, among others, while her essays, op-eds and feature articles have appeared in The New York Times, Harper's Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, Time, The Wall Street Journal, and many more. Had I Known pulls from the vast and varied collection of one of our country's most incisive thinkers to create one must-have volume.

Living with a Wild God

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Living with a Wild God by Barbara Ehrenreich Summary

From the New York Times bestselling author of Nickel and Dimed comes a brave, frank, and exquisitely written memoir that will change the way you see the world. Barbara Ehrenreich is one of the most important thinkers of our time. Educated as a scientist, she is an author, journalist, activist, and advocate for social justice. In LIVING WITH A WILD GOD, she recounts her quest-beginning in childhood-to find "the Truth" about the universe and everything else: What's really going on? Why are we here? In middle age, she rediscovered the journal she had kept during her tumultuous adolescence, which records an event so strange, so cataclysmic, that she had never, in all the intervening years, written or spoken about it to anyone. It was the kind of event that people call a "mystical experience"-and, to a steadfast atheist and rationalist, nothing less than shattering. In LIVING WITH A WILD GOD, Ehrenreich reconstructs her childhood mission, bringing an older woman's wry and erudite perspective to a young girl's impassioned obsession with the questions that, at one point or another, torment us all. The result is both deeply personal and cosmically sweeping-a searing memoir and a profound reflection on science, religion, and the human condition. With her signature combination of intellectual rigor and uninhibited imagination, Ehrenreich offers a true literary achievement-a work that has the power not only to entertain but amaze.

Blood Rites

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Blood Rites by Barbara Ehrenreich Summary

A New York Times Notable BookAn ALA Notable Book "Original and illuminating." --The Washington Post What draws our species to war? What makes us see violence as a kind of sacred duty, or a ritual that boys must undergo to "become" men? Newly reissued in paperback, Blood Rites takes readers on an original journey from the elaborate human sacrifices of the ancient world to the carnage and holocaust of twentieth-century "total war." Ehrenreich sifts deftly through the fragile records of prehistory and discovers the wellspring of war in an unexpected place -- not in a "killer instinct" unique to the males of our species, but in the blood rites early humans performed to reenact their terrifying experiences of predation by stronger carnivores. Brilliant in conception and rich in scope, Blood Rites is a monumental work that continues to transform our understanding of the greatest single threat to human life.

On the Clock

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On the Clock by Emily Guendelsberger Summary

"Nickled and Dimed for the Amazon age," (Salon) the bitingly funny, eye-opening story of finding work in the automated and time-starved world of hourly low-wage labor After the local newspaper where she worked as a reporter closed, Emily Guendelsberger took a pre-Christmas job at an Amazon fulfillment center outside Louisville, Kentucky. There, the vending machines were stocked with painkillers, and the staff turnover was dizzying. In the new year, she travelled to North Carolina to work at a call center, a place where even bathroom breaks were timed to the second. And finally, Guendelsberger was hired at a San Francisco McDonald's, narrowly escaping revenge-seeking customers who pelted her with condiments. Across three jobs, and in three different parts of the country, Guendelsberger directly took part in the revolution changing the U.S. workplace. ON THE CLOCK takes us behind the scenes of the fastest-growing segment of the American workforce to understand the future of work in America - and its present. Until robots pack boxes, resolve billing issues, and make fast food, human beings supervised by AI will continue to get the job done. Guendelsberger shows us how workers went from being the most expensive element of production to the cheapest - and how low wage jobs have been remade to serve the ideals of efficiency, at the cost of humanity. ON THE CLOCK explores the lengths that half of Americans will go to in order to make a living, offering not only a better understanding of the modern workplace, but also surprising solutions to make work more humane for millions of Americans.

Nickeled-and-Dimed to Death

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Nickeled-and-Dimed to Death by Denise Swanson Summary

In New York Times bestselling author Denise Swanson’s “slightly zany”* new mystery series, Devereaux Sinclair loves running her old-fashioned store in her small Missouri hometown. If only murder didn’t keep landing on her doorstep… Dev’s five-and-dime may be doing well, but her love life is in turmoil. She’s torn between Deputy U.S. Marshal Jake Del Vecchio, who is on an undercover assignment, and her ex-beau Noah Underwood, the local doctor from a high-society family. So she welcomes the distraction when Elise Whitmore offers her a great deal on antique chocolate molds that would be perfect for her Easter gift baskets. But do the molds actually belong to Elise’s soon-to-be ex-husband? In buying them, has Dev committed a felony? When Elise is found shot to death, the mystery deepens—and Dev’s good friend Boone, who discovered the body, is taken into custody. With the help of her best buds, Dev must clear Boone’s name and find the real killer. Good thing that when it comes to amateur sleuths, they broke the mold with Dev Sinclair. *Library Journal

Fear of Falling

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Fear of Falling by Barbara Ehrenreich Summary

A brilliant and insightful exploration of the rise and fall of the American middle class by New York Times bestselling author, Barbara Ehrenreich. One of Barbara Ehrenreich's most classic and prophetic works, Fear of Falling closely examines the insecurities of the American middle class in an attempt to explain its turn to the right during the last two decades of the 20th century. Weaving finely-tuned expert analysis with her trademark voice, Ehrenreich traces the myths about the middle class to their roots, determines what led to the shrinking of what was once a healthy percentage of the population, and how, in its ambition and anxiety, that population has retreated from responsible leadership. Newly reissued and timely as ever, Fear of Falling places the middle class of yesterday under the microscope and reveals exactly how we arrived at the middle class of today.

Big-box Swindle

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Big-box Swindle by Stacy Mitchell Summary

Discusses the effect of chain stores and online retailers on independent business owners in small-town America, and how the negative consequences are causing many communities to rally around their local businesses.

Hand to Mouth

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Hand to Mouth by Linda Tirado Summary

Originally published in hardcover in 2014 by G.P. Putnam's Sons.