Picture of author.

Barbara Ehrenreich (1941–2022)

Author of Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America

32+ Works 20,963 Members 541 Reviews 54 Favorited

About the Author

Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of "Blood Rites"; "The Worst Years of Our Lives"; "Fear of Falling", which was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award, & eight other books. A frequent contributor to Time, Harper's, Esquire, The New Republic, Mirabella, The Nation, The New York Magazine, show more she lives near Key West, Florida. (Publisher Fact Sheets) Political activist and writer Barbara Ehrenreich was born in Butte, Montana on August 26, 1941. She studied physics at Reed College and graduated in 1963. She received a Ph.D. in Cell Biology from Rockefeller University in 1968. Rather than pursuing a career in science, however, she decided to focus on social change. Ehrenreich has written columns and contributed articles to publications including Time Magazine, The Progressive, The New York Times, Mother Jones, The Atlantic Monthly, Ms, The New Republic, Harper's Magazine, and The Nation. She taught essay writing at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley in 1998 and 2000. Ehrenreich has written many books, with 2001's Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America and 2005's Bait and Switch, The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream both becoming New York Times bestsellers. Nickel and Dimed examines working-class poverty, while Bait and Switch discusses white-collar unemployment. Her next bestseller was in 2014 with Living With a Wild God: A Nonbeliever's Search for the Truth about Everything. In 1998 Ehrenreich was named Humanist of the Year by the American Humanist Association, and she received the Nation Institute/Puffin Foundation Prize for Creative Citizenship in 2004. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Works by Barbara Ehrenreich

Associated Works

Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive (2019) — Foreword — 1,226 copies
Darwin (Norton Critical Edition) (1970) — Contributor — 658 copies
Race, Class, and Gender: An Anthology (1992) — Contributor, some editions — 443 copies
Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America (2014) — Introduction — 383 copies
The Ralph Nader Reader (2000) — Foreword — 232 copies
The Best American Essays 2002 (2002) — Contributor — 222 copies
Russell Baker's Book of American Humor (1993) — Contributor — 209 copies
The Best American Essays 2020 (2020) — Contributor — 93 copies
Common Culture: Reading and Writing About American Popular Culture (1995) — Contributor, some editions — 92 copies
Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control (2012) — Foreword, some editions — 83 copies
Real Utopia: Participatory Society for the 21st Century (2008) — Contributor — 76 copies
Constructing Masculinity (1995) — Contributor — 75 copies
Woman's Book of Choices (1992) — Foreword — 62 copies
The Adoring Audience: Fan Culture and Popular Media (1992) — Contributor — 53 copies
Poverty in the American Dream: Women and Children First (1983) — Author, some editions — 38 copies
One of the Guys: Women as Aggressors and Torturers (2007) — Foreword, some editions — 36 copies
It's the Media, Stupid (2000) — Introduction — 34 copies
Radical Democracy: Identity, Citizenship and the State (1995) — Contributor — 29 copies
No Future for You: Salvos from The Baffler (2014) — Contributor — 28 copies
The Best American Political Writing 2002 (2002) — Contributor — 27 copies
Lost Ground: Welfare Reform, Poverty, and Beyond (2002) — Foreword — 24 copies
Abu Ghraib: The Politics of Torture (2004) — Contributor — 18 copies
Beyond Crisis: Confronting Health Care in the United States (1994) — Foreword, some editions — 7 copies
The Breast: An Anthology (1995) — Contributor — 7 copies


America (139) anthology (105) class (214) culture (170) current affairs (120) current events (111) ebook (90) economics (768) economy (99) essays (297) feminism (360) gender (134) health (121) history (454) journalism (137) labor (170) medicine (113) memoir (292) minimum wage (169) non-fiction (2,715) own (96) politics (611) poverty (689) psychology (230) read (257) religion (92) science (127) social commentary (185) social justice (87) social science (119) society (152) sociology (1,004) to-read (1,226) unread (113) USA (250) war (87) women (207) women's studies (159) work (146) working poor (159)

Common Knowledge



FYI Review - This book contains the following essays:
-Nickel-and-Damned: On (Not) Getting By in America
-How You Can Save Wall Street
-S&M As Public Policy
-Going to Extremes: CEOs vs. Slaves
-Are Illegal Immigrants the Problem?
-What's So Great about Gated Communities?
-Is it Now a Crime to Be Poor?
-A Homespun Safety Net
-Dead, White, and Blue: The Great Die-Off of America's Blue-Collar White People
-Welcome to Cancerland
-The Naked Truth about Fitness
-Got Grease?
-Our Broken Mental Health System
-Liposuction: The Key to Energy Independence
-The Selfish Side of Gratitude
-How "Natural" Is Rape?
-The Warrior Culture
-At Last, a New Man
-Patriarchy Deflated
-A Women Getting Sadder? Or Are We All Just Getting a Lot More Gullible?
-Our Neighborhood Porn Committee
-Strategies of Corporate Women
-What Abu Ghraid Taught Me
-Making Sense of la Difference
-Outclassed: Sexual Harassment
-Mind Your Own Business
-The Animal Cure
-The Missionary Position
-The New Creationism: Biology under Attack
-Up Close at Trinidad's Carnival
-The Humanoid Stain
-Family Values
-The Cult of Busyness
-Death of a Yuppie Dream
-The Unbearable Being of Whiteness
-Welcome to Fleece U
-Prewatched TV
-The Recession's Race Divide
-Divisions of Labor
-Throw Them Out with the Trush: Why Homelessness is Becoming an Occupy Wall Street Issue
… (more)
Lemeritus | 2 other reviews | Apr 30, 2024 |
So well written and well researched. There is a lot to think about in this book. I will be buying my own copy.
Dorothy2012 | 29 other reviews | Apr 22, 2024 |
Igrew up in a conservative home in a conservative state with a religion that enshrined conservatism more than Christianity. Fortunately, I was allowed to read, and reading has become a salvation of sorts. As I’ve aged and expanded my horizons, I’ve nonetheless grown concerned that I might have picked up some bad habits along the way. I’m recognized as an expert in my field, but I strive not to be one that oppresses others. Instead, I seek to empower others, and that includes women. Thus, I picked up this book, now in a revised edition supplanting its classic in the late 1970s.

Throughout history, women have been told who to be much more than they’ve been empowered to do the telling. When they’ve held leadership roles, their audiences are often limited to other women and children. Sometimes, the “children” part is even limited just to girls. The role of an “expert” has often functioned to put women in a box, not of their own making. Experts, however, changed their advice over time. This confusion often obscured rather than helped.

Things were not always so. Before the industrial revolution, women used to play a recognized, necessary role in an agrarian society. After industrial workplaces took root, it became hard to put women into a society organized around male work. Women were always put in a place, though this place tended to change with time. In this book, Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English document how experts came to rule the roost, so to speak, of womankind and how women eventually rebelled to find their own perspectives after the twentieth century’s feminism.

It’s been almost two decades since this revised edition has been published. Personally, I’ve grown more awake to the contributions of women around me. American culture seems even more entrenched in culture wars, to the point of empowering anti-feminists, seemingly just for effect. This book remains important to remind us of where we’ve come from. Humanity need not suffer endless wars over how much to restrict people from choosing, and people can have real choices without destroying society. Centralized experts do not know everything. This book contributes a reasoned explanation for these feminist views and empowers readers to choose for themselves.
… (more)
scottjpearson | 20 other reviews | Mar 30, 2024 |
Still applicable today although written 20 years ago
corliss12000 | 211 other reviews | Mar 16, 2024 |



You May Also Like

Associated Authors


Also by
½ 3.7

Charts & Graphs