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Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America


"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 intend 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 strategems 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--quite the same way again. "-- Hide synopsis

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Reviews of Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America

Overall customer rating: 4.125
Mimi Thurston

Interesting Book!

by Mimi Thurston on Aug 9, 2012

Interesting reading, but the chapters were very long.


The truth

by robertr on Oct 28, 2010

This tells about how so many of our people today are working so hard just to get by, and how there must be changes made to help these poor Americans.


Nickel and Dimed

by gocureton on Oct 22, 2009

This book was required for school; it is really a good book to help those working for minimum wage. It gives an understanding to what society thinks of the lower class.


Got Money?

by Rinken57 on Sep 24, 2007

Seeing how the other side lives without the fear. She tries to see and emanulate the poor woorking class by pretending she is a poor person who struggles for a living. She tries hard but she has a saftey net of being wealthy so she does get a small taste of poverty but never does she put herself in the danger poor must live everyday. She lived in safe housing and drove to work. She did not mention mixing with other people that have tendencies towards violence. She gets some of the feelings of the working poor right but she really misses the big picture of the oppression the working classes feel everyday.


nice one

by keitakay on May 10, 2007

different people live in different level of society, and different level means different living standard and various life style. it's a good book.

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