Cover image for Nickel and dimed : on (not) getting by in America
Nickel and dimed : on (not) getting by in America
Ehrenreich, Barbara.
Personal Author:
1st Picador ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Picador, 2011.
Physical Description:
244 pages ; 21 cm
Millions of Americans work full-time, year-round, for poverty-level wages. In 1998, the author 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, she 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, " and 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 intend to live indoors. This work reveals low-rent America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and surprising generosity, a land of Big Boxes, fast food, and a thousand desperate strategems for survival. Read it for the author'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, quite the same way again. In her new afterword she explains why, ten years on in America this book is more relevant than ever.
General Note:
"With a new afterword"--Cover.
Getting ready -- Serving in Florida -- Scrubbing in Maine -- Selling in Minnesota -- Evaluation -- Afterword : Nickel and dimed -- Reader's Guide.
Format :