Review : Nickel And Dimed

1935 Words8 Pages
Will Eifling-Page 1

Book Review: Nickel and Dimed: On (not) Getting by in America
What is most interesting about Barbara Ehrenreich?s journalistic venture is that she worked in a white color position as an accomplished journalist, but her immediate family came from a meager financial background. It appears as though she had a grasp on the hardships of poverty in America, which is why she wanted to dig deeper. Ehrenreich?s sister had a series of low paid jobs, her father worked in the coal mine, and her husband met her when he was making only $4.50 an hour. Ehrenreich began her research in 1998 and the book was published in 2001. Ehrenreich did not set out to be poor. She set out to bring attention to the condition of the survival of a minimum wage income of $6.00-$7.00 per hour.
For this project, Ehrenreich had a car and use of emergency cash through her ATM card, but neither undermined her ability to take a critical look at poverty and the people who worked at minimum waged positions in this country. There were devised special rules for the experiment so that she could approach it as an unskilled worker, although she had a college degree and was a successful writer. None of Ehrenreich?s acquired skills could be used for job hunting. The majority of the time she adhered to the rules she set, and only deviated three times from the rules. The goal was to spend at least thirty days in each location to see if she could earn enough wages to pay the next month?s rent.
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