Monday, August 31, 2009

Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich: a review by Laura [50BPT]

Today's entry comes from Laura of the recently re-launched Adventures of a Young Feminist! Laura Sundstrom is a 22-year-old recent grad from Beloit College with a degree in Women's and Gender Studies. She spends her spare time blogging about feminism and pop culture at Adventures of a Young Feminist. Check out her previous entry in this series!

Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich

This book is very well-known, but for good reason. The book follows Ehrenreich as she went "under cover" as a low income worker to try to make ends meet in minimum wage jobs. Even though I am very well aware of the economic situation and uphill battle of America's low-income people and families, this book really added a face to those struggles and made the experience more personal. Through the book I was able to better understand what people have to go through on a day-to-day, year-to-year basis. And Ehrenreich is such an amazing woman, working to improve the status of low-income people, especially women. I've heard her speak recently, and she is just a down-right inspirational person. So I couldn't not include her most well-known book.


  1. What I appreciate most about Ehrenreich's approach is that she never pretends to experience "what it's really like" to be poor. The point she makes is that even though she's coming from a life of substantial privilege -- education, access to fresh food and good health care, white privilege -- she found being poor to be extremely difficult. Imagine, then, what it's like to be poor and oppressed.

  2. To be a upright benign being is to be enduring a kind of openness to the world, an ability to guardianship unsure things beyond your own pilot, that can govern you to be shattered in uncommonly outermost circumstances on which you were not to blame. That says something exceedingly impressive thither the condition of the honest autobiography: that it is based on a trustworthiness in the uncertain and on a willingness to be exposed; it's based on being more like a weed than like a sparkler, something rather fragile, but whose acutely special handsomeness is inseparable from that fragility.


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