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Nickel and Dimed is a nonfiction account of Barbara Ehrenreich's time spent undercover reporting on millions of Americans who work for poverty-level wages. Ehrenreich was inspired 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 simply 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.
Topics include poverty, class dynamics, survival, equality, and jobs/careers/work.
Lexile Measure: 1340L
©2001. High school. 5 x 8 inches. Softcover. 256 pages.