Nickel and Dimed
Millions of Americans work for poverty-level wages, and one day
Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. She was inspired in part
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 not
enough; you need at least two if you intend to live indoors.
A classic book of undercover reporting and a New York Times bestseller,
Nickel and Dimed is Ehrenreich's account of what it is like
to make a living on the salary of a low-paid or "unskilled"
worker. It 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.
Check out Nickel and Dimed
at your local public library or buy your own copy at an area
If you buy a copy, please consider donating it to KPL for others to
read when you finish. Just drop your copy off at any KPL location
for recycling. Those wanting a donated copy can pick one up at the
Friends Bookstore on the lower level of KPL's downtown location. For
more info, call 553-7820.
KPL now has one advance copy of an audio version of Nickel and
Dimed. An audio version is also available from the Library for
the Blind and Physically Handicapped in Lansing. Call 1 800